The 90 Illini #45: Zach Becker July 18, 2012
6′-3″, 250 lbs.
Senior (on scholarship, 1 year to play 1)
St. Joseph – Ogden HS / St. Joseph, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: #49
ALE Ranking in 2010: #12
ALE Ranking in 2009: #32
What I Know About Him:
Easily, without question, the hardest player to rank on this list. Two years ago I had him at #12, and now he’s at #45? Crazy. But he’s had so many injuries (he’s only played in maybe five games in the past two seasons), I’m just not sure if he’ll ever be healthy, so maybe #45 is too high. But he’s a senior who has been through it all and was a vital piece to this team when healthy, so he has to move back up the list. Wait, we don’t use fullbacks in this offense, which is part of the reason Jay Prosch transferred, so maybe #45 is correct.
Becker has been through so much. In 2004, right before he entered high school, he fractured his skull playing basketball and had a titanium plate inserted (you should see the scar). He then battled a recurring foot injury (stress fractures, if I recall correctly), which took part of two seasons. And then last year, against South Dakota State, he broke his leg and missed the rest of the season (he received a medical redshirt, which allows him to return for one more year). Oh, and if his birthdate on his official bio is to be believed, he just turned 21 in June (that can’t be right, can it? This will be his 5th year with the Illini. Did he graduate high school at 16?)
What I Expect From Him:
Man, I have no idea. Will he be a running back? Do we have any plays the require a lead blocker? Can we fit him in an H-back role here and there and let him blow people up on the corner, Jay Prosch-style? Will he play some tight end?
No clue. I’m guessing he’ll be in there on nearly all the special teams, so that’s something, but in this offense? No idea. Ask me in a month.