Wilkins Making a Name For Himself

If you're looking for a candidate for the top wide receiver in the Midwest, you might want to start at MacArthur high school in Decatur, Illinois. Marques Wilkins (6-1, 190 pounds) has the natural ability, game-breaking potential and staggering stats to make such a claim. Are the Irish pursuing this central Illinois prospect? Is he interested in playing for Notre Dame?

His numbers are very impressive; 600 plus receiving yards, seven touchdowns, 600 plus rushing yards, 12 touchdowns and an additional six touchdowns from kick returns and interception returns. What is staggering is that Marques Wilkins had a hamstring injury that limited him to just six games.

Since he's from the Midwest and Notre Dame is looking for playmakers at wide receiver, has Marques been hearing from the Notre Dame coaching staff?

"I visit ND for a practice in April with my dad and my coach," said Wilkins. "I was the only recruit there so I got a chance to speak to coach Ianello and coach Weis."

Is Marques interested in Notre Dame?

"You know I'm interested in Notre Dame," said Wilkins. "I have a lot of interest in playing for them. I don't know if they want me to come play for them yet because they haven't offered me a scholarship, but I hope that they do. Hopefully after the May evaluation period is done, I'll still be one of the main guys on their board.

"I think they like me, but we'll see."

What did Marques think of Irish head coach Charlie Weis?

"I liked him a lot. He's a cool guy," responded Wilkins. "He won't give you any misleading information -- he'll tell you like it is. I like that. I would believe anything he had to say. If he told me I needed to work on something, I would, because I know that he's not going to mess around."

Did coach Weis seem like a guy that could give you solid tips on playing wide receiver?

"You're kidding right? Man, anything that has to do with the offense he knows about it." Wilkins responded.

The Notre Dame staff is obviously interested in Wilkins, so what did the Irish staff tell Marques was the next step in his recruiting process?

"After coach Weis saw my tape, they called my coach and asked for my transcript," explained Wilkins. "They told me that they wanted to get everything through admissions.

"The one thing he (coach Weis) said is that he needs a speed wide receiver. He said that I looked fast on tape, but they want to see how fast I really am. I'll be up at the Ann Arbor Nike combine and they said they'd have someone up there, so we'll see how it goes.

What makes Marques one of the best wide receivers in the Midwest?

"Yards after catch," replied Wilkins. "Usually, if I get my hands on the ball, I make a play and it's a touchdown. My ability to make people miss and my power as a runner.

Besides Notre Dame Wilkins is being recruited by Illinois (offer), Duke (offer), Iowa, Michigan, Penn St., Wisconsin, Michigan St., Purdue and Ball St. (offer).

What will influence his college decision?

"I don't care who has the best facilities and all that stuff," he said. "It'll be the coach that makes the difference. I want to go somewhere I feel that they want me, and where I feel I can make an impact.

Wilkins reports a 3.7 g.p.a and he will take the ACT for the first time in June.

Comments: I haven't seen film on Marques yet, but if I were to base a scholarship offer on one interview, he'd get one. He reminds me of current Irish commitment James Aldridge in the sense that he is extremely articulate and personable. The people who have seen his film come away impressed.

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