Illinois LB/DB stock on the rise

Tony Vercelli was named all-state in 2003 and won a state wrestling championship this year as well

A prospect emerging as one to watch in 2004 is Wilmington, Ill. linebacker/safety Tony Vercelli.

Vercelli will be a three-year starter in the fall as a running back and linebacker for Jeff Reents and the Wildcats.

"I don't have any offers right now but Northwestern, Illinois, Harvard and Yale have all called this month," Vercelli said. "My favorites are Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue and Yale.

"I'm going to camp at Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue this summer and I might go out East to check out a few Ivy League schools."

The 6-foot, 215-pound Vercelli had 150 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five sacks and three interceptions in 2003. Two picks were returned for a touchdown.

Vercelli was named first-team all-state in football and also won a 215-pound state championship in wrestling this year.

Vercelli's older brother Jake was a standout football player and wrestler for Joliet (Ill.) Catholic and later went on to Purdue to have a successful wrestling career.

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