Recruiting picks up for Illinois TE/DE prospect

Some colleges look at versatile, 6-3, 225-pound Peter Buchignani as a tight end, while others see a linebacker, safety or even defensive end. He combines 4.59 speed in the 40 with a bench press of 400 and excellent academics. Two schools have already offered, but Buchignani has some good reasons for being interested in Vanderbilt.

Peter Buchignani started out the season thinking he would be playing linebacker for University High, but more recently he's been playing with his hand on the ground.

"This year I started off playing weakside linebacker in the 4-3 scheme, but our defensive line was getting dominated, so they moved me back down to defensive end. On offense I've been playing tight end."

Some colleges look at the versatile, 6-3, 225-pound Buchignani as a tight end, while others see a linebacker, safety or even defensive end. He combines 4.59 speed in the 40 with a bench press of 400 and excellent academics.

Buchignani's team, University High of Normal, Ill., is off to a 1-3 start. "We started off pretty good with a win, but it's pretty much gone downhill from there," he said. "I think we've played some of the tough teams in the conference, so we should be picking up some more wins."

Ball State and Central Michigan have already extended scholarship offers. Vanderbilt, Illinois, Northern Illinois, Wake Forest and Princeton are all showing interest. "A few others are calling, but those are the ones keeping in contact," he says.

Favorites?

"I can't give a real definitive list right now, but Vanderbilt's definitely got to be up there at the top. Illinois has got to be up there too."

Buchignani was in Nashville last June for Vanderbilt's senior all-positions camp, and made a return trip Sept. 4, when he was one of almost 50 unofficial visitors for the South Carolina game.

"I'm very interested in Vanderbilt. My parents both went there," he said. "The academics are great, and the football is great. I like the coaches too. I love the city of Nashville. It's where my family's from.

"[Vanderbilt's first] game was a little frustrating, but I know they're a better team than that. South Carolina went on to almost beat Georgia, and they almost beat Ole Miss last week. I think they're a good football team, playing in the SEC, the toughest conference."

Buchignani says no timetable for making a decision, and says he'll decide "when the time seems right."


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