Nazareth's Julian Love (20) received a scholarship offer from Illinois after attending one of the Illini's satellite camps at Maine South. | Steve Johnston/For Sun-Times Media
Summer brings on football camp season around the state, and the University of Illinois has put on several satellite camps at Maine South, Lincoln Way-East and Gately Stadium. With strong camp performances, new offers have come for several underclassmen prospects, including Oswego rising junior quarterback Steven Frank.
Frank stands 6-4, 210 pounds and has additional offers from Miami of Ohio and Illinois State.
“After I got done throwing at the Illinois satellite camp, the coaches told me they liked what they saw and offered me,” Frank said. “I am excited about finally getting a Big Ten offer and I feel like Illinois is a program that is starting to build up again.”
West Aurora’s Drake Spears and Nazareth’s Julian Love also received offers after their camp performances.
“I got my first offer from the University of Illinois,” Spears said. “It feels good. I wasn’t expecting to get offered so soon but I am happy I got the first offer.
“I just didn’t know what to say when coach Tim Beckman offered me. I just shook his hand and then I said thank you.”
Love and Spears attended camp at Maine South, and were part of a talented group of defensive backs.
“I immediately thought that I’m one step closer to graduating to college and getting to play football there,” Love said. “Coach Tim Banks and I got really close at the camp. Along with the other defensive back they offered, Drake. I thought we all bonded well actually.”
One lineman also added the Illini to his offer list, Evanston’s Naquan Jones, who is a versatile 6-4, 294-pound prospect.
“After I got done with camp, the defensive coordinator coach Banks asked me which position I liked better, defensive end or tight end,” Jones said. “And I told him I like defense more. And he said if you stick with defense I believe there is an offer coming your way. I was excited and just have to keep working hard.”
Duerig has offers
Andrejas Duerig transferred to Mount Carmel in January and has picked up lots of recruiting interest and several offers since then. It’s been a long journey with football for the offensive lineman, whose first love was hockey.
“I used to live in Illinois when I was younger, then we moved to Indiana and I wasn’t a big football guy for my first seven years,” Duerig said. “Then I got to Indiana and I thought I wanted to do football. I couldn’t do hockey because I have a size 17-foot and I couldn’t find skates. I did football though, Pop Warner, and I liked it and just kind of went from there.”
Syracuse, Austin Peay, Buffalo, Illinois State, Toledo and Western Michigan have offered the 6-4, 280-pound prospect.
“I am just kind of letting the recruiting handle itself, I am just worried about the next couple weeks and growing more as a team,’’ Duerig said. ‘‘Anything that has to do with college is a great thing. Academics are very important to me. From a very young age my mom and dad have been pushing me that grades come first.”