Danville had perhaps its best ever football season under the leadership of coach B.J. Luke. The team was unbeaten until falling in the state semifinals to Providence. Led by junior Justin March, the Vikings brought glory to a city hit hard by the economic downturn. March has attracted attention from major football programs.
"Iowa, Georgia Tech, Arizona, Cincinnati, and Northern Illinois have sent letters. I haven't received much from Illinois yet. I'm not sure what position schools are looking at me for."
March made a couple of camp stops during the past summer.
"I went to Illinois and Northern Illinois for camps. I experienced weight room sessions, and I ran my forty. At Illinois, I met a couple of the assistant coaches, including the linebacker coach and the quarterback coach. It was a good experience. At Northern, I met their head coach."
Though living in the heart of Big 10 country, March grew up following a Big 12 school.
"I grew up a fan of Texas. When I was young, I watched them play on TV. They have tremendous tradition. I know they can match up with anybody in college football."
The 6'-0", 205 pound athlete with a 4.5 forty to his credit projects as a strong safety or linebacker in college but helped his team in a variety of ways.
"I played linebacker, running back, and quarterback. I'm an option quarterback, and we run the Wildcat a bit. My favorite position is linebacker though. Last year I started varsity at outside linebacker and a little bit my freshman year."
How would he describe his play?
"I think I'm good at reading an offense, recognizing the play, and then blowing it up. I want to get better at my pass coverage and getting off the edge to make plays."
March, whose uncle Dean March was a defensive end at Illinois, is a three sport athlete for Danville.
"For basketball, I'm a post player, the power forward, and I play baseball in the spring. With that said, football is my favorite sport, definitely."
The Vikings had a magical season, one that will be hard to duplicate. They will have to rely on their juniors to become the leaders.
"We lose a lot seniors and a lot of starters. We're just going to have to work hard and fill those spots next year. I think we'll get a challenge from Bloomington and Normal Community, but I think if we work hard like last season, we should be champions again."
The Illinois football staff is undergoing significant changes at this time, so it is not surprising they are not yet organized regarding juniors. But it won't take them long to find out about March. He is simply too good to ignore.