Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline offensive guard Harold Coates is one of the top offensive linemen in Ohio. With a strong performance as a junior and at several camps and combines this spring, Coates has several good offers to consider.
"N.C. State, Indiana, Illinois and Marshall have offered so far," he said. "I don't have any top teams now. I'm just playing football right now. It comes when it comes. I would like to go to Illinois if that's what you want to know. That's how I'm looking at it.
"But I probably want to make a decision at the end of my senior season."
So why does he like the Illini?
"I like their uniforms," he said. "I've never been up there, academic wise to see the school. I'm pretty sure it's a good school though, and I like the football team."
Coates regardless doesn't want to go too far from home, so don't be surprised if he leaves the Midwest. That's why Illinois is a good option for him, but there's another school that he's very interested in too – despite saying he's wide open.
"I want to stay close to home," he said. "If I had all my choices I would choose West Virginia. But like I said I've just got to keep on playing football and hopefully they will give me an offer academic wise and football wise. That's my main focus right now, my grades."
Coates is working hard at getting prepared for his senior season. He's hoping to do more damage on both sides of the ball in 2007.
"I'm an offensive lineman, but I play defense, too," he said. "I just want to bring that up and show I can also play defense. But I do my thing on the offensive line, so that's what I'm going to keep doing. I want to improve on both sides of the ball."
"I really haven't been in good enough shape to play defense, but that's what I'm working at now. I really feel like I can dominate on defense. I just haven't shown myself yet. Defense is way better than offense to me. I'll play on both sides of the ball, but if some teams see me play on defense maybe they can get a better idea of where to put me."