Fighting Illini offensive line coach A.J. Ricker is making a big impact on offensive lineman Evan Mallory these days.
Mallory is a big specimen checking in at 6-foot-5, 312-pounds. He has already made the trip to Champaign, but another visit could be in the works.
"I absolutely like Illinois," Mallory said. "I'm going to try and get up there for a visit or maybe two. Illinois definitely seems like they really want me there and have been going after me pretty hard."
The recruiting effort coach Ricker is making towards Mallory is not going unnoticed.
"They (Illinois) send me stuff all the time, and Coach Ricker has been down here in Florida to see me," Mallory said. "I will call him every once in a while to talk. They asked me to come up and visit again during the summer, so they have really made me a priority."
The aggressive lineman is a Rivals 3-star recruit. Mallory is currently enrolled at IMG Academy in Bradenton (Fla). The south is nice for Mallory but he's a Midwestern athlete at heart.
"I'm from Indiana," Mallory said. "Illinois is close to home, so that's nice. Plus the Illinois coaches are great and they have very nice facilities."
Malloy insists he has no favorites at this time. The plan is to keep all of his options open until he's ready to make a decision before the start of his senior year. There are several schools pursing his talents more aggressively than others.
"Along with Illinois; Purdue, Cincinnati, Louisville and Florida International University are the schools that have shown the most recent interest," Mallory said.
As of today Malloy has eight scholarship offers. Ball State, Indiana, Toledo and Western Michigan are four more schools making a push for Mallory's services.
Some high profile athletes may be bothered or bored with being recruited. Mallory is a lot different. He loves the interviews and cares what his potential college coach thinks of him as a person and a player.
"I'm looking for a school I will spend the next four to five years at," Mallory said. "I want to connect with the coaches and make sure I will be happy where I end up. You always have to keep a good attitude and have a little bit of fun with the recruiting process."
This summer is right around the corner, which means the decision for Mallory will be near. Stay tuned here at OrangeandBlueNews.com for the latest on his recruitment.
Kedric Prince has covered the Fighting Illini for over a decade. He is currently the Illini recruiting analyst for the Moline Dispatch / Rock Island Argus newspaper in the Quad Cities. Follow Kedric on Twitter @KedPrince4
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