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September 2, 2014
Illini first to offer Arkansas prospect
Illinois is the first Power 5 conference program to offer 2016 prospect Dylan Soehner from Prairie Grove (Ark.). Illini assistant Alex Golesh delivered the news of the offer.
"It's pretty exciting," Soehner said about the offer . "It's my first BCS offer, and it kind of snuck up on me. When (Golesh) talked to me on the phone, it was the first time I had talked to him."
Ranked a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, Soehner checks in as the No. 9 junior in the state of Arkansas.
At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, Soehner can play tight end or offensive tackle, and he has also lined up at quarterback for his high school squad.
"Coach Golesh said they are looking at me as a tight end, but we'll see how my body develops over the next couple of years," Soehner said. "I want to play tight end, but it will be whatever I have to do to play college football."
Illinois is on Soehner early, and he is picking up some more top level interest. September 1 was the first day college coaches could talk with 2016 prospects, so Soehner expects more and more schools to contact him.
"I've gotten stuff in the mail recently from a lot of places," he said. "Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech are my other two offers, and then Auburn, Michigan, Nebraska, Duke, North Carolina, and Ole Miss have all sent me stuff."
Prairie Grove is a town of just over 4,000 located in the Fayetteville metropolitan area. The Prairie Grove Tigers open their 2014 season on Friday at home vs. Farmington. Last season, Prairie Grove posted a 10-2 record and trip to the state playoffs.
His team plays a Wing-T offense, so Soehner doesn't get a chance to catch many passes, but he was instrumental as a blocker in the Tigers' running game.
"I will play tight end and defensive end," Soehner. "It's kind of week-to-week, but we might have a package where I have to play quarterback. This year coach is trying to spread it out a little more. He says he wants the ball in my hands more."
With the offer in hand, Golesh gave Soehner and open invitation to make it up to Champaign for an Illini game this season. He also plans to stop by nearby Arkansas.
He told me he wants to see me sometime this fall. I think it's about 7 hours from here, so we are going to try to make it up for a game. I'll visit Arkansas, since it's only 15 miles from me. And I'll probably go to an Arkansas State game.