Posted May 02, 2012 on
The Fighting Illini football team added a new position to its staff this year. The Director of Player Personnel has an essential role to play, especially in recruiting. Paul Nichols followed head coach Tim Beckman to Illinois, and he's scarcely had time to take a breath since. He talks about his transition to a new position in the first of a three part interview.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Fighting Illini football program is gaining recruiting momentum rapidly. The commitment of star quarterback Aaron Bailey last week appears to have opened the floodgates. Defensive tackle Merrick Jackson committed Monday, and now Ohio defensive lineman Jarrod Clements has pulled the trigger.
Fighting Illini basketball coaches have been contacting numerous high school and AAU programs to develop relationships and enhance recruiting efforts. One recent stop was at the Normal University High School home of Keita Bates-Diop, a 2014 small forward who is continuing to grow and improve.
The Fighting Illini basketball team needed a quick fix for this next season due to the decision of Meyers Leonard to turn pro. Today it received good news when Coastal Carolina's Sam McLaurin confirmed he will transfer for his final season of eligibility.
How did the Fighting Illini football program ever survive without a Director of Player Personnel? He has myriad essential tasks to handle daily, tasks that either were piled onto the assistant coach named recruiting coordinator or simply not performed previously. Every program needs a detail guy to help organize and coordinate recruiting, and Paul Nichols is that man.
After placing defensive linemen in the first round of the NFL draft the last two years, Fighting Illini football has begun to establish a tradition of defensive linemen. Perhaps that might be why Belleville defensive tackle Merrick Jackson decided on Illinois for his college home.