Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Reilly O'Toole led his team to the Illinois Class 7A state championship last November. And yet he has been slow to receive college scholarship offers. A bit of good fortune helped him receive one from the University of Illinois recently.
"Coach (Jeff) Brohm came to our school, and he was able to watch me throw a little bit. He talked to my coach, and then I called him and talked to him more about it. He said he liked me a lot. He said I'm good for their system, and they're excited to give me an offer."
O'Toole had helped his team to the finals of the 7 on 7 finals at the UI last summer, and he had impressed in a one-day camp shortly afterward. But with so many coaching changes, including the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, O'Toole needed to impress anew.
He had planned to camp at Illinois this summer, but now with a scholarship offer in hand he won't have to do that. He still plans to visit the UI campus.
"I'm definitely excited about getting to know the coaches better and making more visits to Illinois."
Things are picking up for O'Toole on the recruiting front.
"I now have four scholarship offers: Illinois, Minnesota, Toledo and Akron. Recruiting is going pretty well. Some schools who haven't seen me came to my school. I'll have to go to some camps in the summer."
The 6'-4", 215 pounder will fit his camp attendance into a busy summer schedule. He plays basketball at Wheaton Warrenville South, so he will be attending AAU events also.
"The only one I have planned so far is Iowa on June 5th. There are some others I'm interested in going to that aren't too far away. And I still have my high school summer football camp as well as basketball."
O'Toole's family boasts several Kansas grads. Despite strong interest in the school, it appears at this time he is not being considered for a scholarship offer with the Jayhawks.
"I know there's a kid from Kansas that they're recruiting pretty heavily, so I think they're staying in-state for him. They said they really want him."
Still, O'Toole has come a long way in one year. Last summer, he hoped to share time at quarterback with an upcoming senior at WWS. But he impressed coach Ron Muhitch after passing for over 200 yards in his debut.
"My first game I played a little bit and did pretty well when I was in there. So I think that opened up his eyes a little bit. He just stayed with me throughout the whole season."
The senior was considered a better runner, but O'Toole soon proved capable at that part of his game. He toughed out the state finale after suffering a foot injury and led his team to a dramatic two-overtime victory over Glenbard West, 31-24.
"Yeah, it was a difficult game, but I made some plays toward the end of the game and forgot about the foot."
With a solid season under his belt, O'Toole is looking to repeat as state champions in 2010. There is a solid nucleus returning.
"We should be really good. We have a lot of guys back, and that's unusual for our school. We usually play the seniors. There are a lot of juniors that played a lot or started, so we're real excited about the upcoming season."