Explosive Gaston Earns Illini Football Offer

Illinois is continuing to look for top football talent to add to their 2010 football recruiting class. Their quest has taken them to Chicago St. Rita High School, where Bruce Gaston is an up-and-coming defensive tackle star. Gaston was offered a scholarship recently by the Illini, and he showed why at a camp last Saturday.

Speaking after the Nike Combine Saturday at Memorial Stadium, Bruce Gaston confirmed his scholarship offer from the University of Illinois.

"I got a scholarship offer from Illinois yesterday morning. I talked to Coach (Curt) Mallory. Recruiting's been very good to me so far. I've been very fortunate. But nothing comes easy. Hard work and dedication cover a lot of stuff."

Gaston hinted that a future as an Illini might be something he is considering.

"My mother did go to the UI. There's a big comfort level too, it's not too far from home. It doesn't take that long to get here."

The 6'-3", 309 pound Gaston is a hard worker with outstanding first step quickness and explosiveness. He has an amazing 30.8" verticle leap, indicating an ability to out-quick offensive linemen. And he has the size, strength and arm length needed for the position as well.

"I work hard on my legs, my explosion. I've just got to train. Nothing comes easy. You've got to work for everything you do."

Gaston enjoyed the competition at the camp.

"I liked it. There was a lot of competition with the offensive linemen. As a defensive lineman, you always want to go up against the best o-line. You don't want to go up against a small guy. You want to go up against the big 6'-8", 300 pounders. I was looking forward to it and training for the camp, and I think I came out here and did really good."

Despite his ability, Gaston was not well known until recently. He has only been playing football for three years. Also, Chicago St. Rita is a strong program, and underclassmen must be extra good to break into the starting lineup.

"I became a starter towards the end of my season, towards the end and during the playoffs. I worked my way up, got the starting position and helped my team get to the playoffs. I've just got to keep working hard. I like to provide for my team."

While Illinois might be in a favorable position for his services, Gaston is not ready to close down recruiting. He has some other offers on the table, and he would like to add even more.

"My other offers are from Wyoming, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Michigan State so far. I would get more, but most colleges want me to hold off until I get to their camps. No problem. Going to the camps is good, and I'll get their offers too."

Gaston was outstanding at the Nike camp, but some feel his future lies on the offensive side of the ball.

"I went to the DeBartolo Training Camp, and I did both offense and defense there. I love defense, but they say I have a good future for offense. They were trying to downplay defense, but I love playing defense. It's my passion. That's what I continue to do. But at the next level, I've got to do whatever the coach says. So I'm just looking to get to the next level."

He is excited about his senior season.

"St. Rita really should be good. Every other team out there, I tell them St. Rita is coming. Actions speak louder than words, and that's what we're going to do."

Gaston has dreams beyond football as well.

"I want to major in Marine Biology. But I know a lot of colleges I might go to don't offer that. So I'm interested in any type of Biology or Science."

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