Illinois linebacker visits Nebraska

Ryan Bain won't be the one to say that football is just a fall sport. Sure, there are the games that lead to the playoffs that lead to the championships in the latter part of the year. But, the real work happens in the spring and in the summer.

Ryan Bain was getting ready to start his summer conditioning this week for the upcoming season. Although it's only June and the season starting in late August or early September, it was time to get out there and start working again.

"I'm just taking it easy today," Bain said. "I start training tomorrow for the upcoming season."

Ryan was able to get in some unofficial visits before training consumed his summer. He has recently visited nearly half of the Big 10 and some Big 12 schools as well as Notre Dame.

"I had a chance to see Northern Illinois and Illinois when I was wrestling this past year. I've been to Northern Illinois for football too. I've been to Northwestern, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Nebraska."

Bain admits that the many trips to Iowa stick out in his mind. He has some former high school team mates that will be playing for Iowa this coming fall and there is a degree of comfort there knowing some of the players.

"Nebraska really stuck out to me. The coaches were great guys and they showed me a good time while I was there."

"They made a highlight tape for me. It was of me and Barrett Ruud who they think will go onto the NFL. The highlight tape was really doing comparisons between him and me. Another thing was the whole coaching staff took me and my mom out for lunch. Of course we had to pay for it."

"We went out to lunch and everyone that was there and saw who I was with was looking at me like I was King. Coach Callahan and everyone were with me. I got to go into the locker room and they had my name on the locker and everything with a jersey."

Bain is from a fairly populated area of Illinois coming from the southern suburbs of Chicago. What were some of his thoughts traveling from "The Windy City", to Iowa and then across to Nebraska?

"Well when I went there, everyone says you don't see anything in Iowa, it's hillier than Illinois. Illinois is the prairie state and when they say that it means it is really flat. There's a lot more farm land in Iowa and Nebraska than in Illinois. Lincoln, I like the town. Omaha is only 40 minutes away. It had that going for it. I'll be in the city (Lincoln)."

There were a couple of key goals that Bain was hoping to achieve with taking these unofficial visits this summer. "Just trying to see how comfortable I was there and with the coaching staff. I also wanted to get an idea about the defense that they are planning to run, but I can always get a good idea about that over the phone."

Bain has the unique combination of size, speed and strength. Some schools are already recruiting him as a defensive lineman while others have him penciled in as a linebacker with the potential to grow into a defensive line position.

"Most schools are saying that they will start me out at middle linebacker. If I grow out of or if the speed is an issue they could stick me on the defensive line. I can see schools wanting to keep me at linebacker and asking me to lose some weight. I just think that I will wind up at defensive line no matter where I go."

Bain was an all-state selection as a wrestler and during the season he would wrestle in the heavyweight class at 230 to 235 pounds. Bain insists that he isn't getting fat. The reason, he still has the ability at that weight to get up and dunk a basketball.

When asked if he planned on playing basketball in college too Bain answered, "Yeah, right."

Ryan is a three-year varsity starter for the Raiders. He had 128 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and five sacks as a junior. Ryan was named all-conference and all-area in 2003.

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