The 90 Illini #37: Eddie Viliunas July 26, 2012
6′-4″, 255 lbs.
Senior (on scholarship, 1 year to play 1)
Lyons Township HS / LaGrange Park, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: #34
ALE Ranking in 2010: #74
What I Know About Him:
Why did he drop a few spots from last year? Because I have no idea how we will use our tight ends this fall. I think I know how we’ll use a guy like Jon Davis – kind of a hybrid TE/H-back/WR similar to Aaron Hernandez at Florida. But bigger, blocking-over-route-running tight ends like Viliunas? No idea. I will say this: had we stayed with the Petrino offense, I think Viliunas was poised for a surprisingly big senior season. Now I’m not sure. Maybe we’ll use our tight ends differently. Maybe we’ll use them more.
Viliunas arrived as a walkon quarterback and will leave as a scholarship tight end. He showed up on my radar at the Spring Game in 2010 when he hauled in a touchdown pass high above his head (a pass from probable 2012 UConn Starting QB Chandler Whitmer, by the way). He then played in every game as a sophomore, his best (in my opinion) being the Northwestern Wrigley game, where he deposited 37 purple people on their backsides. I counted.
What I Expect From Him:
I need to see the offense first. His story kind of points towards a fantastic finish. High school QB doesn’t get the offers he’s looking for out of high school, so he decides to walk-on at the state school. After a year at QB, he’s moved to tight end, where he learns the position, fights his way up the depth chart, and finds himself on the field all the time, leading to a scholarship for his junior and senior seasons.
What’s the end to that story? Hopefully, a role in this new offense that fits him as well as the blocking schemes we designed for him at Wrigley two years ago. Jay Prosch BOOM Eddie V BANG Mikel 33 yard run (repeat).