When seeking advice on how to deal with the upcoming barrage of phone calls and visits inherent to the recruiting process, Eric Andino didn't have to look very far. Andino, a 6-4, 225-pound linebacker from Buffalo Grove High School in Illinois, is a high school teammate of Tommy Zbikowski, one of the most highly-recruited quarterbacks in the country last year.
"He said to not worry about it, go with the flow, let them talk to you. Just relax and when Signing Day comes, just make up your mind," Andino said. "I'm not a real big fan of media and all that, but if I get the attention, it's great. If I don't, I'm fine with it. I got a little bit of it last year, it was fun and I liked it."
Andino has four scholarship offers – Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Northwestern. His first official visit was two weeks ago, as he made the short drive to Madison for the team's first of a series of "junior days."
"I really liked it a lot," Andino said. "I liked the whole new renovation they have on the stadium, I like the weight room and how easy it was to go from door-to-door. You open a door, there's the weight room. You open a door, there's the Fetzer (Academic) Center, the training room, I really like that."
Andino plans on visiting again Wednesday for NFL Pro Day at the McClain Center, getting a first-hand look at the latest group of Badgers heading to the next level.
On March 15, he will make a visit to Michigan for a spring practice.
Andino is also drawing considerable interest from Purdue, but he's keeping an eye on his mailbox for any letters with a Buckeye logo on them.
"I'd have to say my dream school is Ohio State. I've always wanted to go there. So if they offer me, that would be great," Andino said.
But if OSU doesn't offer, Wisconsin stands a great chance at landing the blue-chip linebacker that was invited to San Antonio last December for the U.S. Army All-American Game Combine.
"I'd love to go to Wisconsin too. I'd say location will probably be the most important thing," Andino said. "I don't want to travel to Florida to play football. I want to stay in the Big Ten. I'm not a big fan of Illinois, but Wisconsin is great. I'd like to stay close to home."
When Andino is not playing football, he competes in track. He runs a 4.8 40, and competes in the 50-yard dash, one-lap dash, shotput and the 440.
His track skills often tranlate to the football field, where he uses his speed to chase down runners.
"Blitzing is my favorite. I love to blitz, just go in there and blow over the center. I like covering, I like going for interceptions. I like roaming sideline-to-sideline," Andino said. "I love running back-and-forth on the sideline, blitzing…everything a linebacker does, I love to do."
Andino, who would like to study physical education or health management and pursue a career that involves football, said his idol is the Chicago Bears' Brian Urlacher.
"He's just great. I wish I had the speed that he has," Andino said. "The way he roams from sideline-to-sideline, catching running backs from behind is just great. I love the way he plays."
While Andino has only played defense and special teams thus far, he anticipates getting an opportunity on the offensive side next fall.
"I don't think our team is going to be that great, so I might play both ways next year. I'm hoping to," Andino said.
On Andino's first unofficial visit, he took in a tour of the campus, watched a Ron Dayne highlight video and saw the UW basketball team in action. He was disappointed that Coach Barry Alvarez and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove were out of town when he visited, but he hopes to meet them on his second visit this week.
Eric Andino Talks About Recruiting Options
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