Marian Catholic wrestler Nate Jackson could not pass up the opportunity to wrestle in the Big Ten.
When Indiana University coach Duane Goldman offered him a scholarship, Jackson said it was an easy decision. Jackson, who was the Illinois Class 3A state champ at 170 pounds, likes the challenge of competing in the best wrestling conference in the country.
"My goal is to win a national championship and I feel Indiana will give me the best chance to do that," Jackson said. "To be the best, you have to beat the best."
Jackson was 39-1 this season and his only loss was a disqualification. As a junior in 2010-11, Jackson was 37-5 and was fifth at 152 in Class 3A.
Another reason he chose the school was because of academics as he wants to major in psychology. He also chose IU because of Goldman and newly hired assistant Joe LeBlanc - considered the University of Wyoming's best wrestler ever - was ranked No. 1 most of the 2011-12 season.
"He is at 184 pounds and eventually, that is the weight I will wrestle at," Jackson said. "I feel he will be a big help to me and Coach Goldman. he was a four-time medalist and he wrestled at the higher weights."
Marin football player Jack Ziltz signed to continue his career at the University of Akron. Four of his teammates signed with St. Ambrose (Iowa). All-East Suburban Catholic Conference lineman Phil Faso, Brad Engstrand, Matt Hurt and Kevin Pawlak all signed.
Two girls basketball players also signed. Alanna Ferry will play at Benedictine University and Sarafina Handey will continue her career at Kankakee Community College.
Augustana College will receive a pair of Marian athletes in lacrosse player Shelby Cosman and golfer Sam Barlage.
In men's lacrosse, Zach Henry will head to Aurora University, while women's soccer sends Mollie Lindeman to Aquinas College, men's basketball will send Erik Crittenden to Elmhurst College and men's volleyball sees Will Craft move on to Carthage College. Lacrosse athlete Josie Novak will play softball at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.