Sedlacek Pulls the Trigger
Ryan Sedlacek
Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jun 30, 2007

Westport, Conn., is a long way from Illinois, but after camping at many different schools and getting a feel for what is out there, Ryan Sedlacek chose to officially end his recruitment this week, giving his verbal pledge to the Illinois coaching staff after a return trip for camp.

Ryan Sedlacek, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive lineman from Staples High School in Westport, Conn., had just spent the summer working hard at camps around the country, but when you know what you like, you know what you like. Illinois had been the first school to offer Sedlacek some time ago and even though the chances of other offers coming in for the lineman were great, this decision had nothing to do with any other schools.

“I committed to Illinois and just feel like it is the place for me and someone that I really want to spend my college days at,” Sedlacek explained. “I had just gone to a bunch of camps and stopped by Illinois again to camp and check it out and while I was there Coach Wolford said I looked exactly how I did on film. He is very similar in style to my offensive line coach at Staples and I just feel like I fit in with the whole coaching family, so this is it for me.”

“The staff was very excited and said that I am most likely going to play guard or center at Illinois,” Sedlacek offered. “I’m fine with that and got to meet some of the other offensive linemen there like Mike Garrity and Big Jack Cornell who were both just really awesome guys and I just had a blast while I was on campus there. I also had an opportunity to speak with a professor from the business school about the education I would receive there which really helped out and was part of the reason I felt comfortable committing now.”

Sedlacek burst onto the scene in 2006, earning first-team All-Area, All-Conference and All-State as an offensive tackle in his first year as a varsity starter. Sedlacek did have a statement prepared on his commitment, which we included:

Statement from Ryan Sedlacek:

I am excited to announce that I committed to Illinois after making an unofficial visit with my family on June 19-20th.

During the two day visit I got to know the coaches and academic support staff and spent a lot of time with the players. The players are a great group of guys who will be great teammates. I was impressed how much they liked playing at Illinois. I spent time with a professor in the business school who told me about potential majors. I toured the campus and was very impressed with the quality of both their academic and football facilities. My recruiter Coach Sims has a great sense of humor and made me feel at home right away. I could tell everyone liked and respected each other.

I got to spend a lot of time with my position coach. Coach Wolford put me through my paces at their one-day camp. I got to feel what it would be like to be coached by him. He is really intense but obviously cares about his players. He has figured me out already. I can tell he is the kind of coach who will get me to play my best.

Head Coach Ron Zook is an amazing leader. He is not only a great recruiter but he has put together an outstanding coaching staff that have the skill and experience to get the best out of the talented players they have. He is a great coach. The Fighting Illini will definitely win championships under his leadership.

In a weird coincidence, it turns out that Coach Zook recruited one of my high school coaches to play at Cincinnati. Even though it was twenty years ago, Coach Zook remembered him and that our team won the state championship that year. When I asked my coach if he liked Coach Zook, he said, “No. I didn’t just like him – I loved him! He is one of the best, most trustworthy college coaches in the game.” His opinion meant a lot to me.

When I started the recruiting process I had two goals – go to a college with great academics and play football for a championship team. Illinois has it all. I plan to major in business and Illinois has one of the top business schools in the country. The Fighting Illini are on the brink of winning championships. I am proud to join their team and help them win.

Lastly, I want to thank my outstanding head coach at Staples High School, Marce Petroccio. Without him and the other coaches, I would not be playing Big 10 football. They taught me what it takes to win championships. Staples HS has been to the state championship for 5 years straight, winning three times. By committing early I can focus on helping my team win it all this year.

I feel honored to join the Illinois family. Go Illini!

Related Stories
Sedlacek Talks Two Schools
 -by  May 21, 2007
On the Road Again
 -by  Apr 18, 2007
Quality Over Quantity
 -by  Apr 4, 2007

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