Indiana K/P Kyle Yelton Pledges Illinois

If anyone in the Midwest felt their home shake a little bit on Sunday evening, that wasn't mother nature, it was Indiana's Kyle Yelton jumping up and down after receiving a scholarship offer from Illinois coach Ron Zook.

"I couldn't believe it," said the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, from Chesterton, Ind. "I've worked really hard and I really have a love for the University of Illinois. I've been to Illinois on a lot of unofficial visits and I just wanted to go their so bad.

"Coach Zook called me Sunday night to ask how I was doing and right after that he offered me a scholarship. Of course, I committed on the spot. I'll be down in Champaign this weekend when they play Northwestern."

Yelton is the son of Merrillville High coach Jeff Yelton. Coach Yelton is sending one of his kids to Illinois next season and he has another that's been offered by the Illini.

"I called Brandon Jordan (Merrillville O-Lineman) right away to give him the news. Brandon committed to Illinois before the season and now we get to be teammates. I also called Dexter (Larimore) and told him that we need him at Illinois as well."

Yelton is one of the top punters in the Midwest. He averaged 43-yards per punt as senior and it looks like he could get a shot to handle the punting duties as early as next season.

"Coach Zook told me the job is wide open," Yelton said. "I'm graduating early and I'll be at Illinois in January. I want to compete for the punting job in the spring. You really have no idea what this (scholarship offer) means to me. If you could've been around here on Sunday, you would have seen it first hand. I can't tell you how excited I am."

Yelton had a January official visit with Western Michigan. That visit will be cancelled.

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