McKeon High on Wisconsin

Naperville North two-way standout Corey McKeon visited Madison again last weekend, and had a great time on another unofficial visit. McKeon updates us on his recruiting process, including a discussion he had with the UW coaches about how they plan to use him.

For Corey McKeon, the only thing more fun than Saturday's trip to Madison to watch the Wisconsin-Penn State game would have been to step on the field himself.

The 6-2, 215-pound linebacker/safety, is a lifelong fan of the Big Ten, and is growing fonder of Wisconsin every time he makes an unofficial visit.

"I just love it. I love the atmosphere, everyone's friendly, everything is very prestigious," McKeon said. "It feels like everyone knows what they're talking about, which is always a good thing. I feel like every time I'm there, I'm always having fun. It's just a great place."

McKeon hasn't set his official visit with the Badgers yet, but he will make another trip later this fall, along with an official trip to Purdue on October 19. His other finalists include Boston College, UCLA, Nebraska and Miami (Ohio).

He planned on making a trip to Miami (Ohio) the first weekend of December, but was selected to play in an all-star game that will cause him to postpone that visit.

McKeon said during the UW-Penn State game, he kept a close eye on Jim Leonhard, because that's the position (strong safety) the Badgers are recruiting him at. McKeon said Leonhard has immediately become one of his favorite players.

"He is a stud," McKeon said. "He and I have a similar set. I'm a little bigger than him, but we play a similar style of ball, and that's the position they want to put me at…I was two feet away from him at the game, but I didn't have the chance to chat with him or anything."

McKeon did have a chance to sit down with Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and a few other UW coaches about their plans for him, should he commit to the program.

"They are going to put me in a position where I can use my athletic ability to the best of my power," McKeon said. "They want to use my size and speed as a linebacker to cover people, to cover those wide receivers that are a little too quick for normal linebackers. But I can come out and play both the run and the pass. That's what they are looking for from me."

McKeon has led Naperville North High School to a 5-1 start (and No. 7 AP ranking in the state of Illinois) this season, although teams have done everything they can to avoid contact with him. McKeon's statistics this year won't reflect his ability, because he rarely gets challenged on the field.

"I hate it. It's kind of a compliment, but at the same time you want to play," McKeon said. "I'm one of the few two-way players that our conference has, and some teams try to keep the ball away from me. But the team that beat us, they found out if they run it at me, they have a better chance of slowing me down than running it away from me, by tiring me out. That's what teams have been doing. They haven't had much success, but the one team that did it had a lot of success."

McKeon, whose father Larry is the head coach at Naperville North, is also a close friend of Scott Kavanagh, the former Badger quarterback who now serves as a Graduate Assistant on the UW coaching staff.

Kavanagh hasn't pressured McKeon to become a Badger, but he has talked with him frequently about the benefits of the program.

"He's a good buddy of mine, and he throws in a word every now and then. I see his mom a lot too, and I get it from her too, so it's funny," McKeon said.

McKeon said living in the heart of Big Ten country, he receives words of advice and pleas from fans of particular teams to commit to their school on a regular basis.

"It's fun, but at the same time you take it in and you kind of get a chuckle out of it," McKeon said. "A lot of people are right, and you like to know what they have to say, but you're the one making the decision so you really can't listen to them."

McKeon said academics will factor into his decision considerably. He is leaning towards majoring in pre-law. After making his visits to Wisconsin, Purdue, and perhaps a couple other schools, he will sit down with his parents and make the best decision he can.

"If I'm going to get an academic scholarship, I might as well make the best of it," McKeon said. "Education is a big (factor) for me, and anywhere I feel comfortable playing, comfortable with the coaches, the program, what they're going to have me doing. That's always a big factor for me, and that's what I'm looking for right now."

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