Tuesday, September 13, 2005

ILLINI Spotlight - Freshmen Derrick McPhearson

HIGH SCHOOL: A four-star prospect by Scout.com and Rivals.com ... Ranked 11th among Prep School prospects by Rivals.com ... Rated the nation's eighth-best wide receiver by Scout.com ... Attended Fork Union Academy Prep School in 2004 ... Recorded 38 receptions for 778 yards and eight touchdowns in 2003 as a senior at DeMatha High School ... Also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, registered 23 tackles and three interceptions in limited defensive play ... Benches 320 pounds and squats 550 with a 38-inch vertical jump, while running a 4.38 40 time ... Named to the Washington Post's All-Metro first-team ... Helped lead DeMatha to a perfect 12-0 record and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship ... A standout baseball player out of high school was sought by many major league teams ... Hit .400 as a senior with five home runs.

PERSONAL: Would like to pursue a career in criminal justice ... Chose Illinois over Florida, Clemson, Maryland, Nebraska and Virginia Tech and had offers from LSU and South Carolina ... Father, Gerrick, played defensive back at Boston College from 1984-87 and went on to play in the NFL with the New England Patriots ... His mother, Kim, was a standout high school track star ... Is one of eight children ... Brother, Gerrick, is a cornerback on the Maryland squad.

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