6'6 317 OL Akim Millington comes from a town that is very familiar to Hawk fans, Wheaton, IL. Wheaton has both produced stars, Chuck Long, and busts, Jon Beutjer, for the Hawks. However, landing Akim certainly would be helping the Hawks land one of the biggest OL studs in america.
"Right now, I have offers from many schools, including Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Arizona, Oklahoma, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and others," Akim stated. "My top five, in order, would be Illinois, Oklahoma, Miami(FL), Iowa, and Notre Dame. I expect Notre Dame to offer me soon and I plan to attend Miami's camp to earn a scholarship offer."
So what has put the Fightin' Illini in the current driver's seat?
"Illinois is just one huge family. I have felt the most comfortable there so far in the process. It is also a great location for myself."
Akim will be attending Iowa's camp this Monday and attending the camp at Illinois.
So what about Iowa has attracted Akim enough to place them in his current top five?
"Iowa is number four for me right now. I have friends that attend the school, and it also close to home. I have visited the school three or four times already and I love the campus and the facilities. I like how the weight room is football only and there are always coaches in there and that can help you specifically to build strength. Their strength program is one of the best in the country."
Hawk fans believe that the offensive line coaching background of Kirk Ferentz at Iowa and in the NFL should help attract top OL prospects. Offensive line coach Joe Philbin is known as a great teacher as he produced NFL linemen at an Ivy League school. I asked Akim to give his thoughts on the comparison of OL coaches and tradition among his current top five.
"Miami had the top ranked offensive line last season. Oklahoma was also in the top five. Illinois has really built some solid lines in the past few years. Coach Philbin does a great job at Iowa. It is good to know that Coach Ferentz has NFL experience coaching the OL position, also. I know that Iowa always tells me that they will push me to strive to be a NFL lineman."
Akim has a 3.3 GPA and scored an 18 on the ACT. He will be taking the test again, but appears to be a very solid student. Akim also plans to wait until Signing Day 03' before announcing his decision. He has agreed to official visits to Illinois and Oklahoma, and Miami(FL) is likely to be added soon to his visit list. The other two schools will be picked at the end of his football season.
So what will be the criteria Akim uses in looking at the schools with so much time left until Signing Day?
"Right now, it is hard to pick a school because my top five all excel in academics and football. I just want to explore all my options and know for sure where I feel the most comfortable."
The Hawks will continue their determined recruitment of Akim this Monday at camp. Millington will now get an upfront and personal view of the teaching and coaching at Iowa. Will that be enough to propel the Hawks to the top of his list?
Will Akim find that his comfort level in Iowa City is enough for the Hawks to gain his signature on Signing Day 03'?