Toledo Sleeper Kynard Selects Illinois

Tim Kynard (Scout)

Illinois fans were surprised when news broke that Tim Kynard had accepted a scholarship to play football for Coach Ron Zook and the Fighting Illini. Not much was known about the defensive lineman. The Illini coaches were making the rounds in Ohio and visited his high school when they discovered this sleeper for the 2009 class.

St. John's Jesuit High School is an all-boys school located in Toledo, Ohio. In football, the school made the state semifinals as recently as 2003. Although not quite as successful as that 2003 team, Tim Kynard helped lead his team to a successful campaign during the fall. The team started out roughly as they began the season with a 1-3 record, but they fought hard to end the regular season on a six game winning streak.

"We went 7-4 but didn't make it to the playoffs. We went to the Hall of Fame Game, the game where the teams that don't make the playoffs play against each other."

The 6'-3", 255 pound defensive lineman had a tremendous season individually, racking up numerous honors at the conclusion of his senior season.

"My season went pretty well. I had 11.5 sacks and 2 touchdowns defensively. I don't know how many tackles I had. I made first team all-city, first team all-district, and first team all-state."

When Tim makes the transition from high school to college, he will continue his playing career on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive lineman.

"I will probably be a defensive tackle in college. I feel I am pretty good at pass rushing and stopping the run. Yet, I need to get stronger and put on more weight."

Despite numerous honors, Tim wasn't receiving much interest from colleges. The local school, the University of Toledo, had been expressing interest ever since new coach Tim Beckman had arrived, but the University of Illinois was the first major Division 1 school to offer. That offer, though, came after a bit of luck.

"Last Tuesday, the coaching staff came in for a teammate of mine [6'-7", 300 pound OL Evan Wiley]. My coach then introduced me to Coach Wolford. He looked at my highlight film and said they would call me on Friday. And, they offered me a full ride when they called."

He accepted the Illinois offer that morning. Having now committed, will Tim take any more visits to Toledo or any other schools?

"I really don't know about visits anymore now that I got the offer. I mean, Toledo just offered me, but I've been there before. The only visit I've set up is to Illinois on January 23rd."

Though Tim accepted the scholarship to play football for the Illini, he doesn't know a whole lot about the school. After all, the coaching staff only found out about him last Tuesday.

"It's a good football school and a good basketball school. It's also a great academic school. I'm really looking forward to visiting and learning more about the school. I want to study education and communication in college."

So what can Illini fans expect to see from Tim over the course of his college career?

"They can expect a good football player. I'm going to work hard and develop my skills and do everything I need to do to play."

Tim says his academics are in order.

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