Sunday, October 07, 2007

Is this the same Ron Zook that coached Florida?

What a difference three years makes. Three years ago, Ron Zook was hired as the head coach of the University of Florida and less then two years later he was run out of town. Now Zook is leading the rebirth of the University of Illinois. Zook and his gang of players just old enough to shave, beat the fifth ranked team in all of the land, Wisconsin on Saturday. To make things better the Illini are now 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1990, and instead of just making a bowl game, they might be head to a New Years Day Bowl game.

"The people have been so great here," Zook said in an story. "The expectation here isn't the same. There, the expectation level is, well, whatever it is. Here, they want to win, but they see the positive side of it. After every game [in the first two seasons at Illinois], I just felt like saying, 'Hang tough,' and 'Hang in there.' I just always thought we'd be OK if we just stayed the course."

When Zook, who was hired to replace the old ball coach, was hired as the leader of the Gator Nation, some people hated the hire so much they started the Now the members of the Illini Nation are ready to elect him President of the United States.

When Zook came to Illinois, the program had fallen so far that it might have been one of the five least talented rosters in the United States. But over the last couple of years, Zook has been out of the recruiting trail battling for some of the best players in the country. First it was getting J. Leman to stay and lead the defense. Then it was getting quarterback Juice Williams (pictured) to join the gang, then he got Vontae Davis from Washington DC, defensive player Martez Wilson, and Arrelious Benn also from the district.

The old saying that one person trash is another man's treasure is no more truer then with Zook.

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