Illinois DT has two favorites

Kris Cooke is currently focused on one Big Ten school and one MAC program

Kris Cooke, a 6-foot-1, 305-pound class of 2006 defensive tackle prospect, does not have any scholarship offers yet but he is receiving interest from Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Ball State, Toledo, Kansas and Northern Illinois.

Cooke, who will be a three-year starter at Homewood-Flossmoor (Flossmoor, Ill.) this fall, has two favorites in mind.

"I'm kind of looking forward to going to either Purdue or Ball State," Cooke said in a recent telephone interview.

Cooke has visited Purdue twice but has not seen Ball State's campus yet.

"First I went [to Purdue] for just a regular visit and then I was invited to watch a practice and meet the coaches," Cooke said. "I really liked it. I really enjoyed talking to the coaches and seeing the campus."

"I have received written letters from Ball State," he said.

Cooke was impressed with Purdue.

"I would say it's a good, solid football program," he said. "When I was watching their practices I really liked how they ran things."

So far, Ball State, Toledo and Kansas have made spring evaluation period stops at Homewood-Flossmoor. Cooke said he was hopeful that Illinois and Purdue would also make the trip.

Cooke bench presses 360 pounds. At the U.S. Army underclassmen combine in January he was laser timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.95 seconds. Cooke has received summer football camp invites from Iowa State, Notre Dame, Illinois, Purdue and Northern Illinois, but he currently does not plan on attending any of them.

However, he has made trips to a number of college campuses this spring. In addition to Purdue, he has visited Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, SMU, Notre Dame and Illinois.

"I'm about to go to NIU on Sunday, and I will probably be going to quite a few more," Cooke said.

Cooke started both ways as a sophomore but Homewood-Flossmoor devoted his attention to defensive tackle last season. Most colleges are recruiting him solely as a defensive tackle.

"Iowa State is kind of looking at me as an offensive lineman, but they look at me as a defensive lineman too," Cooke said.

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