Found January 29, 2012 on
Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois #85
Prototypical size for a 4-3 end or 3-4 outside linebacker. Uses his speed to consistently get into the backfield. Does a nice job keeping his eyes on the quarterback and getting his hands up into passing lanes. Impressive motor; saw a lot of double teams, but continued to fight through the whistle. Experienced lining up at various spots on the line due to Illinois’ hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense, but at his best as the five-technique (lining up outside the offensive tackle). Some experience playing with his hand off the ground. A mature team leader.
Inconsistent off the snap; dangerous when he explodes off the snap, but too often the last man out of his stance. Struggles to shed blocks against the run, but does hold his ground fairly well. Only one full year of starting experience.
Mercilus is a unique prospect who has experience lining up all over the field at Illinois – 3-4 end, 4-3 end, 4-3 tackle, and outside linebacker – and he excelled wherever his coaches placed him in 2011. The one major concern with Mercilus is his lack of sustained production, which raises some concern that he may be a one-year wonder. He spent most of his career playing with his hand in the dirt, but he actually looks most explosive and natural at linebacker. If he lands in the right system, he could be a dangerous pass-rush threat from day one.
2011 vs Arizona State
2011 vs UCLA
2011 vs Northwestern
2011 vs Penn State
BEST OF MAXIM
The Fighting Illini football team added to its recruiting list with the commitment of Cleveland St. Ignatius linebacker Mike Svetina. The Cleveland Plain Dealer Defensive Player Of The Year was originally committed to Miami of Ohio but changed his mind after a weekend visit to Illinois. He talks about his decision in this report.
The new Fighting Illini football coaching staff is determined to recruit athletes from the state of Illinois. They proved it again today with the commitment of Lincoln-Way West safety B.J. Bello. He was committed to Western Michigan before Coach Tim Beckman and staff convinced him to make the switch.
Hoosier Wrestling (6-6) won both of the marquee battles against #8 Illinois (12-2) as Taylor Walsh and Matt Powless each defeated their nationally-ranked foes. The Fighting Illini ultimately won the war by taking the dual 29-10. Hoosier heavyweight Adam Chalfant was also victorious on Sunday for the Cream and Crimson.
Among the Fighting Illini Junior Day visitors was a good looking defensive end from Chicago Morgan Park. Khairi Bailey and his father got a chance to see the school and meet the new football coaching staff. They came away impressed.
Turnabout is fair play. The Fighting Illini defeated Minnesota at home in overtime back in late December. In the return match in Minneapolis, the Illini had the lead late but allowed the Gophers to tie the game on a three point play in regulation. Minnesota then dominated overtime to win 77-72. Poor shooting, especially from the arc and free throw line, was the Illini downfall.
The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team fell to Minnesota (314.5-51.5), Purdue (287-79) and Wisconsin (260-93) in the final day of action at Big Ten Quad Duals on Saturday.
The Fighting Illini women's tennis team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday night, falling to third-ranked Duke, 6-1, at the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Durham, N.C. Freshman Melissa Kopinski picked up the lone victory for the Orange and Blue, marking her fourth singles win of the season.
The second-ranked Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team took down No. 1 Oklahoma (347.700) and No. 7 Michigan (339.100) Saturday night at Huff Hall with an overall team score of 349.800. Redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri captured titles on vault and high bar, passing head coach Justin Spring (59) on the all-time titles list with 60 career wins to rank fifth in school history.
The 15th-ranked Fighting Illini men's tennis team (3-1) fell to No. 18 North Carolina (2-1), 4-2, Sunday in the first round of the ITA Kick-off Weekend, hosted by Georgia Tech. Senior Dennis Nevolo and freshman Tim Kopinski captured the only wins for the Orange and Blue, winning each of their matches in straight sets.