Illini Make Offer To Ohio Tackle Dennis

Quality left tackles are in short supply around the country, and every school is looking for them. They must be tall and rangy with long arms and quick feet to block speed rushers on the defense. Illinois may have found a good one in one of their summer camps, offering a scholarship to Mike Dennis, a rangy tackle from Carey, Ohio.

Michael Dennis attended an Illinois one-day football camp Thursday, and Friday morning he received a call telling him he was being offered a scholarship.

"I'm very excited about it," Dennis exclaimed.

Dennis is accumulating scholarships at a rapid pace.

"I think I have 13 scholarships now."

Besides Illinois, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa State, Maryland and North Carolina State have offered him a full ride. It appears he has a special interest in Big Ten schools.

"Besides Illinois, I'm interested in Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State. But I'm more or less open to everything."

The 6'-7", 270 pounder was the only offensive lineman working with Joe Gilbert, who is both his recruiting coach and line coach. He found that a benefit.

"I thought it was great. I performed well. I thought he was a great coach. I could really learn from him."

Dennis and his family came in the night before camp, so he had a chance to check out the campus.

"That morning, I got a little tour of the campus, the facilities and everything."

The Dennis family drove from Champaign to Columbus, Ohio, so their son could participate in an Ohio State camp Friday. There was less opportunity for personal attention, but he was excited to camp at his home state school.

"There were about 40 offensive linemen there, and about 750 total."

Dennis could be reading from a manual on left tackle requirements when describing the best parts of his game.

"My foot speed, my quickness, my ability to get to the blocks."

He is using these camps to improve his techniques in addition to auditioning for scholarships.

"I want to get stronger. Also, I want to work on my overall footwork for pass blocking and run blocking."

It sounds like Dennis, who is undecided on a college major but is considering Sports Management, wants to wait awhile before deciding upon a school.

"I'll try to make some official visits in the fall before committing."

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