Andy Gallik Discusses Illinois Commitment

Recruitable high school athletes have a lot of reasons for picking a college. But when one college campus feels special to them, like a home away from home, that feeling often becomes the most important consideration. That is a big reason why Chicago Brother Rice lineman Andy Gallik committed to Illinois.

Offensive lineman Andy Gallik is excited about his commitment to the University of Illinois.

"It's where I've always wanted to go, and I can go where my parents wanted me to go. It's a dream come true for me."

Gallik likes the atmosphere of the school, and he looks forward to working with his future position coach.

"I like the comfort level down there. I really like Coach (Joe) Gilbert a lot, and that played a role in my decision. He's intense, and he's always in your face to make sure you've done things the right way. I've been to other schools, and a lot of the coaches are laid back. That's all right, but I wanted a coach to get the best out of you every single day."

The timing of the decision preceded his planned unofficial visit to the University of Minnesota. He still made the trip, but as a brief vacation rather than a recruiting trip.

"I committed Monday night. I was supposed to go to Minnesota on Tuesday. We had the plane reservations, so we decided to make the two day trip up there and just not visit the university."

Gallik was leaning to the Illini prior to his visit on the Friday before the weekend of 7 on 7 and lineman camps. He enjoyed himself so much, he came back on Saturday.

"I was really having a blast on Friday. We talked to the Whitmers and some other people. We decided to go back the next day to get a better feel for it. It's only about an hour and a half away from me, and I have a blast when I go up there.

"So when I went up there on Saturday, I saw Coach Gilbert coaching at the lineman camp. I got to spend more time with the coaches, and they really made me want to go there."

The 6'-3", 300 pounder experienced first hand the "Friends and Family" atmosphere that has been Coach Ron Zook and his staff's main selling point for recruits. There was electricity in the air.

"Everybody was out there watching. The energy out there, you could start to feel it."

Gallik is also looking forward to home games during his Illini career.

"I couldn't imagine a better game day. That's another reason I picked it. Just the orange and how rowdy everybody gets. It's really cool."

Now that he is part of the Illini family, he is eager to help bring in other great players as his future teammates.

"I've been talking to a lot of the commitments already. Shawn Afryl and I have been talking alot, trying to get to know each other.

"I'm trying to locate a couple guys that have offers out. I'll do my best to get them into Orange and Blue. It's also good because a lot of them are local kids. We're putting together a great class, and that's a good starting point. Because if we get these guys, we can really be something in the next couple years. I really believe that."

One player he will likely get to know is fellow Chicago Catholic League player Bruce Gaston from St. Rita. The defensive tackle and he will butt heads in a game this fall.

"He didn't start last year, so we didn't get a chance to go against each other. I'm looking forward to it this year though. I've been trying to get ahold of him. I'll do my best to convince him about Illinois."

Gallik is working hard to prepare for his senior football season. Brother Rice expects to compete for a state championship this year.

"We just got done with our spring camp, so now we've got some time off. Right now, we're just going through conditioning sessions, lifting and stuff like that. We'll get back together as a team and pick it up in August."

Of course, he also has plans for a few Saturdays this fall.

"I'll make it down to Illinois as many times as I can."

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