Gianacakos Has Illini Ties and Offer

Gianacakos Has Illini Ties and Offer

St. Charles North (Ill.) junior offensive tackle Chase Gianacakos picked up his first Big Ten offer on Monday from a school both his parents went to.

Not every student or athlete gets an opportunity to play or attend school at the same place their parents did, but St. Charles North junior Chase Gianacakos has that rare chance now that the University of Illinois has offered him a scholarship.

Upon offering however, the Illini made it clear to him that his 6'6, 280-lb frame and ability on the field would be wanted regardless of his family history.

"I called Coach Golesh, one of my recruiting coordinators and he said, here's the big guy, and gave me to Coach Beckman. Coach Beckman said 'Chase, we want to offer you a scholarship and it has nothing to do with the fact that your parents played here and everything to do with your athletic ability. We think you can play here, and you haven't even touched your ceiling yet on playing."

Having moved around as a youth and only played football for a few years, that assessment of Gianacakos' ceiling is shared by the other schools recruiting him, including Kansas and Bowling Green, the other two who have offered. That said, this third offer has something a little different to it.

"I was super excited," he explained. "It's a Big Ten school and I think that's awesome. I was really excited. Having parents who went there too, it's cool."

Last Saturday, Gianacakos visited Champaign and attended a basketball game. After getting back, he had nothing but positive things to say about the school and program.

"I love the campus. It's a really nice campus. Academically for my major, I want to major in business, and they have a great business program there. Especially accounting, they're really high up in accounting. They're one or two in the Big Ten. The facilities there are great, great weight room, great field, everything's great. Going to basketball game, it was great to see the atmosphere the fans bring."

He also built a better relationship with the staff.

"The coaches are honest guys and they'll tell you straight. Coach Beckman told me when I was there, we're not ready to offer you today and just sat talked to me for a little while, and said it may be sooner than you think though. He's really cool. I really like all the coaches. I like Coach Bridge, the O-Line coach a lot. He's the kind of guy that will get everything out of you and push you."

This weekend, Gianacakos will visit Northwestern. He is also hearing from Michigan State, Boston College, Wisconsin, Purdue and others. At this point, he is not ready to make a decision, but it is on his mind.

"I've thought about it, definitely. I've told coaches I probably want to do it before my senior season just want to be able to play my senior season, just have fun and do what I need to do take my team to the playoffs again. We got a new head coach this year and I want his season with me to be great. He's been supportive and he's a great guy and I definitely want to have a good season, so hopefully I make a decision before the season starts."

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