Illinois LB Considers Visiting Penn State

Cyrus Garrett from Romeoville High School in Romeoville, IL committed to the University of Illinois back in May. Recently, however, Cyrus has decided that he wants to take a look at other schools including Penn State.

Cyrus is starting his third season at outside linebacker, where last season he registered 18 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown.  This season, the 6'3", 222-pound athlete is starting on offense at the tight end position, where he can utilize his rare combination of size, speed (4.6 40-yard dash) and strength (300 bench press).

Cyrus is being recruited by several colleges to play the linebacker position.  He listed his offers as Notre Dame, Illinois, Minnesota, Boston College, Penn State and Arizona.  The Penn State offer was a verbal offer made by Coach Vanderlinden a few months ago.

"They want to see if I'm going to come out there," he said.  "They said that they definitely want me to take an official visit there so Coach Paterno can meet me."

Cyrus said that Notre Dame and Penn State are recruiting him the hardest.

"Notre Dame calls me as much as they can, and sends me letters every day.  Penn State is also recruiting me hard. They send me about 4 or 5 letters every day ."

His list of 5 favorites does not include Penn State, although they are not far behind.

"My 5 favorites are Notre Dame, Tennessee, Miami, Arizona and Illinois."  Those are in no particular order. "I've heard from Tennessee and Miami.  I got a letter from Tennessee telling me to call them, but I haven't gotten around to calling them yet.  I really do like Tennessee a lot.  I got letters from Miami telling me how interested they are, but I haven't received a phone call from them for a long time, so I'm not sure.  I try to keep up with who they sign.  They have a lot of talent there right now and it might be that they signed a linebacker and that's why they're not talking to me right now."

Cyrus does look at team's depth charts.

"Everytime I get a media guide, I look at the depth charts to see where I would be if I went there and who I would have to beat out for a starting position."

Cyrus really likes Minnesota too but doesn't list them among his top 5.

"Minnesota's a great school.  I have a friend, Astein Osei, that goes there.  When they lost all of their coaches, it was hard for me to consider them anymore.  If they had all their coaches from last year, I probably would have already committed there because it's a great institution.  They have the best housing and workout facilities that I've ever seen.  Their dorms are better than most peoples' apartments.  They always keep great talent up there too."

He's taken visits to Illinois, Notre Dame, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Minnesota.  He did not go to any camps this summer.

Cyrus is looking for a team that plays his style of defense.

"I want an open defense like Illinois just put in and like Notre Dame is starting to use with Rocky Boiman and those guys where they can roam the field and just play.  My style is to be able to create in the open field.  That's what I love to do."

Cyrus says that he would like to visit Penn State, but would probably have to use an official visit to do so for financial reasons. Most of his official visits have already been decided.

"Because of Penn State's reputation, they're going to have great recruiting.  I know Coach Paterno is not going to let things stay where they are right now.  I think if I get in there soon, I can be part of a great thing that is going to happen there when he turns it around.  At any moment, Penn State can break out of it."

He is already set to visit Illinois and Arizona officially.

"I'd definitely like to get down to Miami and Tennessee.  The fifth visit is pretty much open, I'm not really sure."

He is thinking about taking his fifth visit to Penn State, USC or some other school.

"I'm looking for a school that I'm going to like even when I'm not playing ball.  I don't want to be sitting around the dorm thinking 'why did I pick this school'.  I want a school that has a great social atmosphere along with great tradition and great academics.  I want to be able to get into the student body and have regular student friends."

Cyrus is planning to make a decision following all of his official visits.

He is ranked at #78 in the Insiders Football Top 101 List.

You can discuss this story at the PSU Sports forum.

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