Illinois coach Zook visits Hillsborough's Mitchell and Leto's Deering

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Tue. January 5, 2010 | Eduardo A. Encina

Illinois coach Ron Zook visited Tampa on Tuesday, his new offensive coordinator in tow, to see his top local recruiting targets.

Zook visited Leto running back Jeremy Deering at Leto’s campus in the morning, then went to Hillsborough to see Terriers defensive back Terrence Mitchell just before lunchtime.

Zook, the former UF coach who has long been known as a master recruiter, is making a push for the Tampa recruits as signing day looms Feb. 3. New Fighting Illini offensive coordinator Paul Petrino also sat down and got to know Deering, pitching his Illinois’ new offense to the Falcons senior, Leto offensive coordinator Frank Rose said.

Mitchell, who is being recruited to play cornerback, is ranked the fifth-best cornerback prospect in the nation and the 83rd overall by Rivals.com. Deering is a four-star prospect  ranked the 15th best athlete by ESPNU, however most schools are recruiting him to play receiver.

Both Mitchell and Deering have made official visits to Illinois and list the school as one of their finalists.

-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (eencina@sptimes.com)

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