Incoming offensive tackle Gabe Megginson was kind enough to answer a few questions for Writing Illini this week. This high school senior is humble, down to Earth, and has that team first mentality you look for in a player.
Austin Jabs: When you were being recruited by Illinois, who on the coaching staff came at you hardest?
Gabe Megginson: “Honestly, it’s unique, but Coach Beckman and Coach Ricker were pretty even at coming at me the hardest.”
AJ: Why did you choose Illinois?
GM: “The opportunity to build something instead of coming into something that is already built. I’m trying to build history with these guys, and a lot of them are from in state. This was just an opportunity I could not pass up.”
AJ: As a fan, I love hearing that. When Coach Ricker left a couple weeks ago you were very quick to put to the fire of fans that were paranoid that everything that was built would fall apart. You tweeted out the commitment plaque. Was that something you received from Beckman and the coaching staff?
GM: “Yeah, actually Coach Ricker sent it to me, which is a little ironic that he talked about commitment to me. The staff kind of put it together for me.”
AJ: When you talked to Coach Beckman, did you feel his energy and excitement about the direction of this program and did that help in your decision?
GM: “You feel the excitement around him and the program. He is a busy man and the fact that he takes time to talk to guys personally, that is a big deal to me.”
AJ: What has been the best football moment for you?
GM: “My homecoming game this past year, because we beat Springfield High School who we hadn’t beaten for seven or eight years. I got to start right next to my brother on the defensive line, so that was pretty cool.”
AJ: Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
GM: “My parents have always inspired me. They are hard workers in their careers. They just always told me that whatever I am, be the best at it, so I chose football to try to be the best at, and I’ll always strive to be the best.”
AJ: Jacksonville is a smaller area, under 20,000. Is the excitement building for this upcoming season?
GM: “Yeah, there is a ton because these underclassmen, because we have a smaller senior class, only seven or eight, I think, and these underclassmen have been crazy good in the freshman and JV level, so it’s really exciting. Hopefully they can carry out what they have been doing with us.”