...despite the fact he hasn't even qualified academically to play for us yet
For those of you who don't know, Frank Boenzi is a ridiculously talented defensive lineman who was All-Everything at Geneva High School and also "has the unique body control of a 200-pounder in a 300-pound body." Basically, he is top-tier Big 10 talent if he had better grades. He will greyshirt his first year at Northern Illinois, which means he isn't allowed to play or practice with the team until he gets achieves a certain GPA at the end of his freshman year. But we all love Frank even though he won't be on scholarship until 2011. Here's why:
Reason #1: He reads "blogs"
Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com had an unusually good piece on Boenzi the other day and one quote stood out the most out of any:
"I remember after it got out to the newspaper that I committed to Northern, I was reading a blog," Boenzi said. "People were giving me a 25 percent chance to get through college. It got me going. These people don't know me. They don't know my situation. They don't know how I've changed, how I've matured.
"It's a pride issue. I can do it, and I can succeed."
I believe I skimped out on writing anything about him at the time of the commitment, so the comment was tracked down and originally came from a message board post by an Illini fan. It just goes to show you that athletes do read that stuff, so think twice before you bash some 18-22 year-old. Don't worry Frank, the majority of Huskie nation has your back. I hope he reads this one.
Reason #2: He doesn't take any bull
When Rick Armstrong of the Beacon-News wanted to check on his commitment, Frank let him know how committed he really was:
"I'm not one of those guys," said the Geneva defensive tackle and 2009 Beacon-News Player of the Year. "Those guys get me going. I'm still signing with Northern."
He's talking about the decommitments from the Huskies in QB Miles Osei to Illinois and Giorgio Bowers to Akron. There's a lot of talk about how Bowers didn't want to compete against fellow incoming RB Jas Hopkins even though they would have been 3 classes apart.
"What's that say about your character if that's the course you're gonna take?" asked the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Boenzi. "Why commit in the first place? You shouldn't say anything, but that's just me."
YES!!! I couldn't have said it better myself. Can we promote Boenzi to assistant recruiting coordinator already? He is getting me fired up telling Osei and Bowers to F*** off.
Reason #3: Me thinks he's smarter than he actually seems
The LOIs came flying in through the fax machine all by the time of Kill's press conference at 1 PM. Except for one: Frank Boenzi's.
3:00 PM - John Sahly of HuskieWire chirped in about how he wouldn't sign an LOI on signing day:
"I have to see how I do on the ACT the next time I take it. It will be my fifth time taking the ACT ... how my grades even out at the end of the year, how I do in summer school, and then I should know right before I go down there," Boenzi said at Geneva’s college signing ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
"It’ll be like a last-minute thing."
4:00 PM - Frank sends in his LOI
It's just too easy to point out how the most borderline guy academics guy also had the most trouble getting his Letter of Intent into NIU. It's just too simple of an excuse.
No, I believe Frank's diabolical plan was to get people talking about him on signing day.
Because we should be talking about him. Good luck on the ACT Frank! Can't wait to see you in 2011.