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Another Local Player Chooses Illinois

No, not DeMatha wide receiver Kenny Tate. Not yet, at least. Though the Illini and Maryland remain in the picture for the two-time All-Met. Expect a decision from him next week.

Buried in an email from Dunbar Coach Craig Jefferies describing his seniors getting ready to sign letters-of-intent comes this nugget: defensive lineman Ugo Uzodinma has switched his commitment from Virginia to Illinois.

"When Mike London went to Richmond, Ugo decided to open up his options and he decided to go to Illinois," Jefferies said this morning. "That's hot off the presses. [Illinois recruiting mastermind Mike] Locksley didn't know until the last minute. He's coming to the school today.

Uzodinma will join Dunbar lineman Reggie Ellis at Illinois; Ellis is enrolled there for the spring semester. Also, Dunbar defensive back Jharron Armstrong will sign with Kent State and defensive back Abdul Taylor is bound for Cornell. Defensive tackle Dwayne Chappell and defensive back Robert Stewart are expected to sign with I-AA schools.

"Virginia brought four coaches here Tuesday to try to talk him out of it, but he decided not to. Coach London wore a lot of hats at Virginia and for Ugo personally. He recruited him, was the defensive coordinator, the recruiting coordinator and his position coach.

"That's what makes [Illinois Coach Ron] Zook such a good recruiter. He sees how Locksley recruits a kid and gets right in there with him. If Locksley were to leave, Zook's already in there with the kid. [Virginia Coach] Al Groh definitely didn't do that."

By Josh Barr  | January 25, 2008; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Wasn't Locksley on the Maryland Staff? He's killing UMD now in the DC area. the Terps need to get a Hampton-Tidewater guy and do the same.

Posted by: robGreg | January 25, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes and thats part of the big story. Ask Josh why Locksley left. He is very entrenched in this area and that's why there's quietly becoming a little DC in Champaign.

Posted by: HoopObserver | January 28, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Coach Zook knows that it's only a matter of time before Coach Locks' takes over a head coaching position, so he's learning everything he can from him now about the DC-area. Not that the Zooker is a slouch in the recruiting circles. Look what his recruits did at Florida last year compared to this year when not as many were left. Illinois' play on the field this year did a lot to quiet the "put up or shut up crowd," as they proved that Zook's system is not all talk.

Posted by: Bob Inmo | January 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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