May 20, 2014

Illini among new offers for 3-star lineman




Offensive lineman Mirko Jurkovic Jr. has gone through a position change and seen an uptick in his recruitment since making a move from Indiana to IMG Academy in Bradenton (Fla.).

"I was just offered on Monday by Maryland, Illinois, South Florida, and Wake Forest," Jurkovic said. "So far during spring ball I've picked up about ten offers."

Ranked a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jurkovic sports additional offers from Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Purdue, and others.

According to Jurkovic, the move to IMG has given him more exposure as coaches come to check out several D-1 prospects on the roster. IMG teammateEvan Mallory, another transplant from the Indiana high school ranks, also holds an Illini offer.

"The coaching staff and the training we get down here is top notch," Jurkovic said. "Recruiting goes along with that. We have some highly coveted recruits down here on our team, so college coaches are always coming down here to watch practice. It gives you a chance to stand out."

Illinois pulled the trigger on an offer, with the recruitment headed up by offensive line coach A.J. Ricker. The Illini would now like to get Jurkovic on campus for a visit soon.

"I've been in contact with Coach Ricker a little bit," Jurkovic said. "He seems like a genuine guy and a very good coach. I'll be home for about a month this summer, so I'm thinking about making a visit (to Illinois)."

The 6-foot-5, 276-pound Jurkovic is feeling comfortable at right tackle at IMG, a move he made after playing guard at St. Joseph High School in South Bend.

"My game has picked up tremendously," Jurkovic said. "They moved me to right tackle when I got down here and I picked it up pretty well. I like it a lot better than guard. The college coaches are all telling me they want me as a tackle."

Jurkovic is beginning to get an idea on what schools will make his final cut, but he isn't yet ready to name list of top contenders.

"No favorites yet," he said. "I will probably narrow it down this summer to five or six schools. It will be based on the best fit for me - just how I feel about the college."



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