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College Commitment
Countdown: Alden Stays Close to Home, Chooses Illinois

University of Illinois Head Coach Brad Dancer didn't look far for his first Class of 2010 recruit. It was hard for him to miss Brian Alden, a 6'5" five-star prospect from Inverness, Ill.

Brian Alden is staying in-state at Illinois
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
The Fighting Illini featured four players from the Prairie State in 2009, so Alden should feel right at home in Champaign, even if it is a three-hour drive from his house.

"It is a great academic and athletic school along with a great coach in Brad Dancer," Alden wrote in an E-mail interview. "It's also a fun school and I know a lot of kids that are going to Illinois."

Alden will still be 17 when he arrives at college in January. After studying at St. Viator, a college prep school touted for its academics, Alden has enrolled in Laurel Springs Online School in an effort to graduate early.

A Virginia Tech football fan, Alden paid the Hokies a visit last fall. He was also interested in playing college tennis for Ohio State and Penn State - both Big Ten rivals of Illinois.

But when he attended a tennis match and a basketball game at Illinois this winter, his mind was made up.

"The team was very nice and seemed like a cool bunch of guys," he recalled.

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