Good quarterbacking requires patience.
So Anthony Monken, a dropback QB, waited. And waited. And waited -- sans holding a football high and patting it into an open hand.
"Any time a Division I school is going to offer, you kind of want to jump on it and pursue it," said Monken, Libertyville's starting quarterback this season.
Last month, former Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken sent a highlight film of his oldest son to college football coaches he knows from his many years of playing and coaching the game. The University of Louisiana at Monroe showed immediate interest in the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Anthony.
"Like a week before we went down there, I was really thinking about committing then," Anthony said. "But we talked it over and decided that we'd wait until I went down there and took a visit and just saw the place. When we were coming back, I was talking with my dad and I basically just said that I knew this was the one."
So that Sunday night, Monken called assistant coach Adam Waugh -- who was coached by Anthony's dad at Libertyville years ago -- and verbally committed to play for ULM, which plays Division I football in the Sun Belt Conference. Head coach Todd Berry's Warhawks (5-5, 3-2 this season) drew national headlines last year when they stunned eighth-ranked Arkansas in overtime.
About two weeks before Monken visited with his dad, ULM offered him a scholarship. On his visit, he checked out Louisiana-Monroe's homecoming game against Georgia State. He hopes to make an official visit before the end of the year.
"When we got down there, I was in awe," Monken said of ULM's campus in Monroe, La. "The place was great. They got a bayou running right through the middle of campus. Everything's beautiful down there.
"And the thing that sold me the most was how nice everybody was. Everyone was so friendly, always had a smile on their face. The coaching staff was so welcoming. It's hard not to love it."
When you come from the Monken football family, it's hard not to know a little about just about every college that plays football. Anthony's Uncle Todd is the head coach at Southern Miss and has previously coached at several other colleges, including Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State.
"I had known a little bit about (ULM) just because my uncle had been all over Louisiana coaching," Monken said.
Monken checked out ULM the weekend after Libertyville ended its season by defeating Zion-Benton. In his first year as the varsity's starting QB, the senior threw for more than 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns, as the Wildcats won four games.
"Anthony improved throughout the season and it was clear to us that he gave our football team the best chance to win," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "Anthony's strength, as a player, is that he is a hard worker. He identifies a weakness and works at it to be a strength. He has improved his mobility since a freshman and his arm strength."
Not shockingly, Monken demonstrated the qualities of an athlete who has a parent who's a coach.
"He is a very coachable player and is always willing to help the players around him," Jones said. "The most impressive asset to me is that he is a quality person."
True. When he wasn't running around Vernon Hills' sideline, and tossing and shagging footballs on game night while his dad coached, Anthony was dreaming about football.
"I always used to tell my parents when I was younger that I was going to get a scholarship and go to the NFL and they could save all their money and not have to worry about (paying for) college," Monken said with a laugh. "But I never really thought it would actually happen. It's kind of unbelievable."
His patience paid off.
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