I am in Jacksonville, IL right now so I figured I'd have a sit-down with Illini recruit Gabe Megginson. Gabe is, of course, one of Illinois football's best recruits in awhile. He's a 4 star prospect (Northwestern doesn't have any of those anymore) who had offers from everywhere. The prized offensive lineman chose the Illini and explains why below.
The Champaign Room: What made you decide Illinois over other big time programs? Do you feel that state pride influenced that?
Gabe Megginson: I really wanted to represent the state, the offer gave me the opportunity to do that. I feel we have the potential to be great. With all the best kids from this state and other states we could be really good together.
TCR: What do you think of the new O-Line coach Tom Brattan?
GM: I've talked to him a little bit. I think he's a great guy, and I'm excited for what he brings to the table as a coach.
TCR: What do you think of the new uniforms and which color combination is your favorite?
GM: I love them. High tech. Love the white away uniforms. Also really like blue with the orange pants. I think they're all great.
TCR: I've heard you have an intense workout program. Could you share?
GM: We do 3 weeks intervals of different types of lifting and body work. We start off with things like upper and lower body reps and then before the season (now) we do intense heavy stuff. It really gets you ready for the season.
TCR: Can you describe your relationship with Dre Brown and the other recruits?
GM: Dre is the man. He really talked me into going to Illinois. I was leaning towards other schools he sold me on the fact that we could be legendary with all this in state talent. I'm really close to Jimmy, Zeke and some of the other recruits, too. I'm getting to know some of the new Texas recruits also. I feel like we have potential to be a great group together.
TCR: When did you realize you could become a big time D1 athlete?
GM: My freshman year of high school. I realized my body was full of potential. I also realized I could go to school for free (on a scholarship)--that's what I've been working towards since.
TCR: Who had the biggest influence on you as a kid?
GM: Both my parents, they always pushed me. My dad was my football coach up until high school and he would push me on the field. My mom would help motivate me off the field.
TCR: What pitch did Tim Beckman sell you on?
GM: Our State. Our Team. I didn't realize how much or what it meant until I was close to committing.
TCR: I know you've been "Twitter recruiting" Quinn Oseland. Do you think the Illini will get him?
GM: I really hope so. I know he is done with all his visits, but he is coming up to Illinois with me (unofficial visit), before he commits. I think we have a good shot.
TCR: Can you explain Fighting Force '15?
GM: Coach Beckman made that up. He likes to name his recruiting classes, I can't remember what the 2014 class was. It shows that our group has a ton of potential. Coach says we are warriors and that we can be special as a recruiting class. We can do great things and make Illinois great.
The Champaign Room thanks Gabe for the interview! A special thanks also goes out to Neil Rossi.