Football player withdraws from UI

By Courtney Linehan

Freshman football player Melvin Alaeze left the team, head coach Ron Zook announced Monday.

Alaeze joined the Illini defensive line this summer.

He participated in preseason training camp, and traveled with the Illini to Rutgers after being cleared by the NCAA.

Alaeze recorded one tackle against Rutgers on Sept. 9.

He did not dress against Iowa Sept. 23 and did not practice last week or travel to Michigan State.

Alaeze originally signed with the University of Maryland.

He joined the Illini Football team after spending a year at the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va.

Last year, Rivals.com named him the No. 2 Prep School recruit in the country.

The defensive end, considered an NFL prospect, has withdrawn from the University, the athletic department said Monday.

“Melvin has decided to leave Illinois for personal reasons,” Zook said in a press release. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”