Illinois Tackle Names Favorites

Northwestern has locked up several commitments from the top offensive line prospects in the Land of Lincoln. One interior lineman from Illinois who has yet to give a commitment is Emmett Cleary, a 6-foot-7, 260-pounder, from St. Viator high in Arlington Heights. Cleary says he's got his eyes on several schools but there are a few pulling away.

"I have scholarship offers from Purdue, Northern Illinois, Boston College, Rice, Central Michigan, Indiana, Air Force and Army." Emmett Cleary said.

"Most of the Ivy League schools have told me that I have a spot but I wouldn't be getting any scholarship money."

Cleary is a three-year varsity member. He came up and played in the play-off's for the Lions in 2005 and has been a starter ever since. Emmett was an all-conference selection as a junior. He is starting on both sides of the ball this season.

We asked Cleary if he has narrowed his college choices, if he has set up any official visits and if there's any school that he'd like to get have more contact with.

"I like Boston College a lot," Cleary said. "I visited Boston during the summer and I really liked the campus, the coaches and the academics. Northwestern is high on my list. They are close to home, I know a lot of the guys already committed there and Northwestern offers a great education as well.

"Purdue is still one of my top choices. Coach (Mark) Hagen has been very good to me. The Purdue coaches have treated me really well and I've had a lot of fun on my unofficial visits. I really liked what I saw in Purdue. I can't find a negative about the place.

"As far as if there are any schools that I'd like to hear from but haven't, not really. I mean, I was really interested in Stanford. I thought that would be a good fit for me but I contacted them and they basically told me thanks but no thanks.

"I don't have any of my official visits set up yet. I'm still trying to work through the process and sort things out."

Cleary carries a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom and he scored a 33 on his ACT. Is there a possibility he could ditch big-time football for an Ivy League education?

"That's an interesting question," Cleary said. "I've thought about that and what it came down to was the fact that I want to play major college football. Not too many get the opportunity to be in the position that I'm in. All the schools that I'm looking at offer a great education."

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