Fitzgerald Chose to Stay Home

Publisher
Posted Feb 1, 2014


Quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald became Illinois' first 2015 verbal pledge.

CHAMPAIGN - Location and proximity were obvious factors in the eventual union between Illinois and Jimmy Fitzgerald.

The 6-2, 195-pound 2015 quarterback attends nearby Centennial High, spent his childhood in the shadow of the campus and the past year learning the football program inside and out.

With that in mind, a visit to coordinator Bill Cubit's quarterback room last summer essentially solidified Fitzgerald staying home.

"I had an opportunity to sit in one of his meetings," Fitzgerald recalls. "Just the way he talks to his quarterbacks, he's a great teacher of the game. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to play for him."

On campus again for Saturday's junior day, Fitzgerald decided to commit to Coach Tim Beckman, making him the first verbal pledge of the '15 class.

"I just felt like it was the right decision," Fitzgerald said. "I believe in Coach Beckman and Coach Cubit. I think we can build a strong foundation. They already have the wheels turning. There's a lot of kids in the state of Illinois in the 2015 class. We need to get in here and get this thing going."

Fitzgerald sat with 2015 wideouts Miles Boykin and Flynn Nagel during the Illinois-Iowa basketball game on Saturday. He's the first commit, the quarterback, and he's comfortable in the spotlight. Now that his recruitment is over, Fitzgerald said he'll turn his attention to adding others to the Illini list.

"I feel like I can try and get some of the guys I already have some relationships with," he said, noting Dre Brown and Leon Thornton as those he knew well. "I play with a lot of kids from Chicago in offseason ball, so I have some pretty good relationships with them."

All in all, Fitzgerald said Saturday was a special day. He made a huge life decision and made himself and a lot of people around him happy. He chose to stay home.

"It's great. It's awesome," he said. "Words can't really describe it. It's a real weight lifted off of my shoulders."


Related Stories
In Focus: Jimmy Fitzgerald
 -by IlliniPlaybook.com  Feb 2, 2014
More with Fitzgerald
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Feb 4, 2014
What Illinois Is Getting: Jimmy Fitzgerald
 -by IlliniPlaybook.com  Feb 10, 2014

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from IlliniPlaybook.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
QB Jimmy Fitzgerald (profile)
[View My HotList]