The Fighting Illini football team was scheduled to hold a scrimmage at Rantoul High School Saturday…
Bigger, stronger Faerber focused on SR year
Stand next to Elliot Faerber, and one thing immediately jumps out: For a receiver, this kid is big. Huge even. During a breakout junior campaign in 2010, the Shawnee (KS) Mission East High product stood a lanky 6-foot-4. With sticky hands and deceptive speed, he helped the Lancers to one of the best seasons in school history - and turned the heads of many a college recruiter in the process. When the University of Illinois offered in the spring, Faerber jumped all over the opportunity. However, having his college decision behind him didn't make him complacent. Far from it, in fact, as a grueling summer working drills and spending hours in the weight room saw him add significant strength and muscle weight. Now 6-foot-5 and 208 pounds, the future Illini is a match-up problem for any cornerback in the Sunflower League. That added size and strength, coupled with improved route running and technique have helped make him a more complete receiver as a senior in 2011. "Probably my blocking and my route precision," Faerber said, when asked in which areas his game had made the biggest strides. "It's something I've personally stressed. I've put on more weight, and therefore I feel like I should be able to block anyone. I just made a conscious effort to go work on it." Though already committed, the big receiver remains in contact with the Illinois coaching staff, talking about football, school and life in general. "I talked to them after their first win," Faerber said. "Just kind of hanging out over the phone." And while the early commitment didn't make him complacent during the summer, it has lightened the mental load considerably during his last year as a prep athlete - both on and off the field. "I've got a nice senior schedule, not a whole lot of stress there," Faerber said, with a smile. "But then it's great not to have to be on the search for a college. With football, I feel solidified, and I can focus on my team and my play without having to worry about making sure I get noticed and putting my film out there and stuff. I'm glad I have that part done."
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