Buffalo Grove, IL has not been a hotspot in the past for major college programs, but this spring has produced plenty of visits for Buffalo Grove High School to remember for a while.
"The majority of the BigTen, Nebraska, Arizona State, Virginia, and Notre Dame all visited my school this month," Tommy stated. "I'm still getting interest from other schools, also. However, I'm completely open right now as I do not have any favorites. I'll wait until after the football season likely to really narrow my list. I know I'd like to officially visit a school on the east and west, and use my others for schools around my area."
The Hawks are making Illinois a bigger priority this recruiting season, especially with the upgrade in the line position and such talents as Tommy Zbikowski. Coach (Lester) Erb has the been one in charge, and Coach Ferentz definitely selected a good choice with Erb's youth and energy.
"Coach Erb has shown me a lot of interest. He even came and saw one of my track meets here in Buffalo Grove. He called me in early May and still is really stressing how they want to add tough football players like myself."
So with the emergence of schools recruiting Tommy, are the Hawks still sitting pretty on his list?
"Iowa is still pretty high on my list. I think right now that I would likely take a visit to Iowa City. The highest point I like about the Hawks is the equal chance they are giving all their players to make to the next level. Iowa has had good talent, but has not had a lot of sucess with their players in the NFL. However, with the current strength and conditioning program, I can tell they are committed in producing results on the next level as much as any other program. I plan to camp at Iowa for one day this summer."
Tommy also plans to attend camps at Nebraska and Notre Dame plus some special skills camps. Tommy also recently recieved his ACT score, 21, to go along with a 3.7 GPA he carries on a 5.0 scale. Tommy's previous boxing accomplishments have already been mentioned many times so it is not hard to see the success that Tommy reaches on all levels. It is that success that Coach Ferentz strives for in his program. The top football programs like Miami, Florida State, Nebraska, Tennessee etc. are looking for the same type of athlete that has been successful in multiple areas.
So how does Tommy feel about the recent comparisons to Eric Crouch, coming from Tom Lemming and others?
"I do wish that it would go away a little bit. I can see where it comes from with both of us having similar games, standing at the same height, and both having black hair and blue eyes. While its an honor being compared to a Heisman winner, I want to start my own personality and own style of game."
So would Crouch be a player that Tommy resembles his game after?
The two guys that are my idols would have to be Chicago area guys, QB Jim McMahon and RB Walter Payton. I would never label Jim as a quarterback, but rather as a football player. He was so fearless and always did the cool thing by hanging out with his lineman. I like to pattern my running style after Walter Payton's. He was so elusive and carried himself well on the football field."
Those two are definitely two great players to pattern a game after. If Tommy can establish himself as that type of talent, he should have no problem someday having a prospect say the same thing about him. Hopefully for Hawk fans, the prospects will be reflecting back on his days in a Hawkeye uniform.