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Tinley Park, IL
Commitment status: Undecided
Wt: 175 lbs
LPI: What should college coaches that recruit you know about you whether it be on or off the field?
JD: First and foremost I want coaches to know that I pride myself on being a good teammate and always putting the team first. I feel that I lead by example on the field, but also in the classroom and outside of school. Personally, I feel that my best attributes as a football player are my knowledge of the game and my instincts. These are things that do not necessarily appear on a stat sheet, but they are evident when you see me play the game. I have a strong work ethic and a competitive attitude in all aspects of my life. I have a true love of the game and I will only get bigger and stronger over the next year and a half.
LPI: What are your individual and team goals for the rest of the year?
JD: As with all teams, we want to win a state title. But in order to reach that goal, our team needs to finish our season on a high note against two very good teams, use those games to learn and make us better one game at a time, and to play our best football in the post season when it matters the most. Individually, I want to get better each day and contribute to the team by making big plays.
LPI: What schools have offered you and what other schools have shown serious interest?
JD: I have yet to receive any offers but a few schools that have shown serious interest are Harvard and Cincinnati.
LPI: What is it like growing up playing football with your brother Mike who is now a NIU Huskie? How has he helped you grow on and off the field?
JD: Mike and I have always been close and supported each other in all of our sports, but last year was the first time we were actually able to play on the same team together. I have always looked up to Mike and admired his ability, work ethic and attitude. Being teammates was something special that I will never forget. Mike has always been a role model to me. Through his example, he showed me the importance of hustle, hard work, and getting better every day. I am proud of him and hope to follow in his footsteps.
LPI: Have you visited anywhere recently or do you have any planned visits or coming up? If so, where at and when?
JD: Besides going to several NIU games, I have spoken to both Cincinnati and Harvard about visiting later this fall or winter.
LPI: Who are some of your teammates or training partners that you believe can play at the next level, but have gone overlooked by college coaches?
Ameer Aqel (senior) – Is a definite leader on our team. He is quick, physical and a playmaker. He will definitely make an impact at the college level.
Adam Jumah (senior) – Is a beast on our OL. He has worked extremely hard this past year and it shows on the field. He is a vocal leader and a true asset to our team.
Rocco Iannantone (junior) – Has been a teammate of mine since we were kids. The only way to describe him is tough and relentless. He has great instincts and a true passion for the game.
John Bickel (junior) – Is the speed of our team. He too is a tough, hard-nosed player who uses his speed, agility, and explosiveness to exploit the opponent’s defense.