The 90 Illini #31: Matt LaCosse August 1, 2012
6′-6″, 240 lbs.
Sophomore (on scholarship, 4 years to play 3)
Naperville North HS / Naperville, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: #78
What I Know About Him:
I feel like he could be a breakout guy this year. Maybe that’s a year too soon – maybe his junior year is his breakout moment. But we’re desperate for pass catchers, and I think LaCosse is a good one.
He’s surprisingly athletic for a 6′-6″ kid. Runs well, jumps well – doesn’t look like a 6′-6″ guy lumbering around the football field. But he was a quarterback in high school, and he’s still just learning the tight end position (and he’s still crash-coursing in blocking), so it might take some time. Still, when you watch him at practice, you think “this guy could really be a solid Big Ten tight end”.
What I Expect From Him:
It depends on how we use Evan Wilson and Jon Davis. If we use Wilson as a typical tight end and Davis as more of an H-back, there are probably only backup minutes for LaCosse. But if we get creative with our sets, and we can design some plays where Davis motions into the backfield while LaCosse runs traditional tight end routes, I think we can utilize LaCosse this season. Maybe a lot.
And there was one play in the spring game where LaCosse was split out wide as a receiver (on one play, we had LaCosse split out wide on one side with a receiver lined up directly behind him, and we had another tight end (I think it was Jon Davis) split out wide to the other side with a receiver lined up directly behind him. If we can get creative like that (and I think we will), we might use LaCosse a lot this fall. Which is why I bumped him up to #31.