The 90 Illini #28: Taylor Zalewski August 4, 2012
6′-3″, 200 lbs.
rs-Freshman (walkon, 4 years to play 4)
Carl Sandburg HS / Orland Park, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: NR
Well, that was embarrassing. I started this post last night, reached the point of “I’m too tired to finish this”, set up the Autopost for 12:30 pm, and planned to edit this morning. Aaaaand set the Autopost for 12:30 am.
So it’s edited now (well, actually, it’s not edited yet, but I’m about to edit, which means that by the time you read this, it will be edited, but it’s not just yet, but it will be), but had you viewed this post a few hours ago, under “what I expect from him”, it just said “text”. The best Twitter response I got? IlliniJacob: “‘Text’ is an odd thing to expect from a kicker, but if you give him your number, he might shoot you one.”
What I Know About Him:
I know he was headed to Northern Illinois on a scholarship when we entered the picture. And I know he was one of the three kickers invited to Rantoul last year. And I know he tried punting for a bit. And I know he has a big leg.
And I think he’s our starting kicker for the next four years, which is why I ranked him #28.
What I Expect From Him:
For starters, I think he kicks off for us. Watch him kick off next to the other kickers, and his trajectory is different. Like that guy you play golf with who actually knows what he’s doing and his drives seem to start our low and keep rising – that’s what Zalweski’s kickoffs look like. So that’s why I think he wins that job.
Placekicking? Who knows? He hit two big field goals for the Orange Team in the Spring Game, but then Nick Immekus turned around and nailed a 48 yarder for the Blue Team win. And Ryan Frain arrives on scholarship this fall – can a walkon like Zalweski really beat out a scholarship kicker like Frain? Sight unseen, I say yes. When I made my three-deep back in January I picked Zalweski as the kicker, and until I see otherwise, he’s my pick.