Just because a recruit took the initiative to sign with the Illinois Fighting Illini and enroll early doesn’t mean Writing Illini ignores him on National Signing Day. The diminutive wide receiver from Neuqua Valley HS in Naperville, Illinois officially signed with the University of Illinois back on December 18th, and he was more than ready to join the Illini family.
Dudek brings speed, and a boatload of accolades and production, with him to the Fighting Illini. Let’s take a look at everything he accomplished as a senior.
- Rivals, SCOUT, ESPN, 24/7 – 3 Star WR
- SCOUT - Year End ranking as top 150 player in Midwest, 21st Overall in IL
- Chicago Tribune and Champaign Gazette – 1st Team All State
- Chicago Sun Times, Naperville Sun, Daily Herald – 1st Team All Area
- Upstate 8 Conference – Conference MVP
- Neuqua Valley High School Team Captain
- Set Neuqua Valley career records for receptions, yards, and TD’s
- Rushing - 30 Rushes for 260 yards and 3 TD’s
- Receiving - 69 Receptions for 1384 yards and 19 TD’s
- Kick Returns - 21 attempts for 692 yards and 2 TD’s
- All Purpose Yards - 2,361 and 196.8 yards a game
I had a chance to catch up with Mr. Dudek to ask him one simple question which he was gracious enough to answer:
RK: What intrigued you / helped you decide Illinois was the right fit for you?
MD: “Illinois, to me, is the perfect fit because it has everything my family and I want for myself. It’s a top tier school with a degree that can compete with any. It’s close to home for me which is something I like because I’m a big family man and my parents can come visit whenever.”
Furthermore, he went on to say, “The coaches are really welcoming, and allow you to know that it’s not a 4 year commitment with them, it’s a lifetime commitment because of the family we are joining, and the football program is on the rise, and it’s going to be awesome helping to bring my home state school back to becoming a top team in the country!”
One major benefit of having Dudek on campus now is that he will be able to assimilate to the college life and then go through Spring practices with the team which will only help him in the long run as he learns a new offense.
Here’s a highlight video courtesy of IP, and I have to say that the final catch at the end of the video is one of the best I have ever seen at any level of football. Take a couple minutes out of your day and you’ll undoubtedly come away impressed.
Welcome aboard Mike Dudek! We look forward to watching you grow, and improve, as a player over the next four years in the Illini uniform.
You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.