CHAMPAIGN – After walking onto the University of Illinois football team back in 2010, Nick Forzley is set to enter his fourth season as a member of the Illini program.
The Lemont graduate saw his first collegiate action early last fall before missing most of the season with a fractured ankle. Now in his last go-round, Forzley has an opportunity to see time in the secondary and on special teams.
What have you been up to this summer?
The whole summer I have been down in Champaign, lifting, working out and running with the team. And when I’m not doing that, I’ve been working with the Boys and Girls Club in Champaign.
How special was it to make the team as a walk-on?
It was unbelievable. When I first got there, just to see the talent we had on that team, I came in with my eyes wide open. To make the team was a great feeling and as the years have gone by, I’ve gotten more comfortable. I know the guys on the team really well and some are now my best friends.
What have the past three years been like?
I’ve loved it. My best buds are on the team and we are around each other every day. This year I’ve taken more of a leader-type role on the team and I’m excited to be in that role as a senior.
What was it like getting into the Charleston Southern game last fall for three plays?
It is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. To step on the field for a Big Ten team, basically all of my goals were achieved that day when I ran out on the field. It went by very fast. Seeing the crowd and running on the field and taking in that atmosphere, it was awesome.
With a major in sports management, what would you like to do post graduation?
I’m leaning toward law school. And eventually, I’d like to become an agent. That’s the goal right now, that’s the plan right now.
What’s it been like being a part of the Big Ten conference?
It’s awesome, just the opportunity and experience I’ve gotten. Going to two bowl games, going to a place like Arizona State, seeing all of the different stadiums. College football is the best sport, I personally think. Every Saturday, you don’t know what is going to happen. Being a part of the Big Ten is a great accomplishment. I love my team and everyone on it and that’s what makes it special.
Does your team have something to prove this fall?
We definitely have a lot to prove. Coming off a 2-10 season, nobody wants to have that kind of season. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator and everyone is ready for the season. We are excited, everybody is invested and we are ready to go.