Tampa Linebacker Considering Illinois

Florida has been a pivotal recruiting ground for Illinois under Ron Zook. The Illini coaches are hitting the Sunshine State harder than ever. One recruit who has caught their eye is Tampa, Florida's Ramik Wilson.

Jefferson High School linebacker Ramik Wilson is enjoying the recruiting process.

"I'm interested in all the schools right now. I'm looking around to see what's best for me. I've got a number of offers, including some new ones this week like Iowa State, Western Kentucky, and Memphis.

"I've also got offers from Texas Tech, Illinois, East Carolina, and Central Florida. I'm really liking Texas Tech, Illinois and East Carolina right now.

her schools recruiting me are Rutgers, Cincinnati, Miami, Florida International, Clemson, Nebraska, Syracuse, and Purdue."

Wilson has been talking to Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino often.

"I talk to Coach Petrino a lot. He's told me a little about the new defense they're running and the new packages they'll have. He told me I'd be a good asset to their team. We've talked about a visit. I'm trying to book a flight this summer to go to a camp so I can work out for them."

The 6'-4", 230 pound linebacker already has one certain visit planned.

"Next fall, I'm going to Texas Tech when they play Texas in week 3. I'm trying to make a trip to go to Purdue, and also one to check out Iowa State. We're still talking about that right now."

Distance is no factor for this linebacker.

"I don't care where I play. I just want to come in and contribute to the team. Academically, I'm thinking about going into business or education, but that's not for sure."

Though one school is looking at him on the offensive side of the ball, Wilson prefers linebacker.

"Clemson is looking at me on offense, but I would rather stay at linebacker. All the schools that have offered are looking at me there. Those schools see me as a weakside rushing linebacker, like a DeMarcus Ware."

Wilson is part of a talent-laden team coming back next season.

"We only lose two seniors to graduation. We made it to the fourth round of the playoffs this year, one game short of the championship. We expect to win the title next season. Our defensive coordinator left for another school, so we're changing everything on defense. But we should be primarily a 4-3 and 3-4 defense.

"I've played both ways in my career, but the coaches started putting me at linebacker and I grew into the position. I have a nose for the ball, and I can make my reads. I'm working hard to improve on my tackling form, my pass coverage, and my hard hitting."

During the spring, Wilson is busy running the 200-meter and participating in shot put and discus for his track team.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories