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aubonsie Valley's running back Austin Guido (27) rushes the ball vs Oak Park. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Patience is a virtue.
Quite perplexed and frustrated at times about why he wasn’t receiving the attention on the recruiting circuit that his exploits on the field warranted, Waubonsie Valley senior running back Austin Guido kept waiting and waiting.
Knowing all along he was capable of playing Division I football, his patience and perseverance finally paid off handsomely for him.
On the heels of taking an official visit this weekend up to Kalamazoo, Mich. and Western Michigan’s campus, Guido committed on Sunday to become part of P.J. Fleck’s first recruiting class with the Broncos.
“I mean, it feels good to finally know where I’m going,” he said. “It’s been a very long process. But I was actually there this weekend for an official visit. I loved everything about it and I’m just really thankful that I’m there now.”
For a Western Michigan football program that went 4-8 last year, prompting the dismissal of Bill Cubit, who compiled a 51-47 record in his eight years at the helm of the program, Guido figures to add some sizzle to an offense that averaged 149 ½ yards rushing during the 2012 season.
A member of the Sun-Times’ All-Area Team for 2012, the 5-10, 190-pound Guido ran the ball 319 times for 2,365 yards and 31 touchdowns for Waubonsie Valley this past season, establishing new program single-season records in all three categories.
Keeping tabs with the holdovers from Cubit’s staff and talking to some of the members of Fleck’s staff, he believes a chance to get onto the field right away as a freshman will be there for the taking once fall camp opens up in August.
“That’s interesting because the special teams coordinator (J.B. Gibboney) actually told me this weekend at my visit: he told me, ‘I could really see you coming in right away as a freshman, being a part of special teams,’” said Guido, whose only other scholarship offer was one residing on the Division II level, from St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., to go along with receiving a preferred walk-on offer from Northern Illinois. “(Gibboney) is like, ‘I could really see you being on all four special teams (units) and being a key factor.’”
It’s the presence of Fleck, a wide receiver at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003, that has him psyched to try and help break Northern Illinois’ stranglehold on the Mid-American Conference’s West Division behind a spread-type offense.
“I love (Fleck). Actually, I got to meet him this weekend. I talked to him before, though. (I love) everything about him—his energy, his enthusiasm and his character. I just think he’s gonna be perfect for the program.”