The 90 Illini #78: Mason Monheim June 15, 2012
6′-1″, 215 lbs.
True Freshman (on scholarship, 5 years to play 4)
Orrville HS / Orrville, Ohio
ALE Ranking last year: NR
What I Know About Him:
Monheim projects as an inside linebacker. Or, to be more specific, I think he’ll be a Will or a Mike, not a Sam. But we call the Sam the Star now. Got that? Monheim’s a Mike. Or maybe a Will.
He’s one of the reasons we have a lot of depth at linebacker, and likely need only one in the 2013 recruiting class. Bates and Brown will start at the Will and the Mike. Last year, we brought in Henry Dickinson and Ralph Cooper to back them up. This year, it’s Monheim and fellow freshman TJ Neal (plus Mike Svetina, who I’m guessing we try at Star). That’s a lot of linebackers. Looks like we’ll be set for a while.
What I Expect From Him:
Redshirt, get stronger, get faster, learn the defense. We might be in the 70′s now, but that’s still the drill. College defenses can be a bit overwhelming for high school linebackers. I remember seeing Dickinson and Cooper getting reps with the first string last summer in Rantoul and looking a bit overwhelmed. Same with Bad News Brown in the summer of 2010. So I’m guessing Monheim (and Neal) will go through some growing pains.
Looking at future depth charts, with Cooper and Dickinson both burning their redshirts last fall, I think 2015 is the target year for Monheim to start. Redshirt this year, backup Cooper and Dickinson for a few years, and then start as a junior. Between now and then, lift, get stronger, get faster, learn the defense…