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Football: Austin Guido commits to Western Michigan

Waubonsie Valley senior AustGuido made verbal commitment Western Michigan University Sunday. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

Waubonsie Valley senior Austin Guido made a verbal commitment to Western Michigan University on Sunday. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 23, 2013 6:12AM

Patience is a virtue.

Frustrated at times about why he wasn’t receiving the recruiting attention his exploits on the field warranted, Waubonsie Valley senior running back Austin Guido kept waiting and waiting.

Knowing he was capable of playing Division I football, his patience and perseverance finally paid off.

After taking an official visit this weekend to Western Michigan’s campus in Kalamazoo, Guido committed on Sunday to become part of P.J. Fleck’s first recruiting class with the Broncos.

“It feels good to finally know where I’m going,” Guido 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 — Guido figures to add some sizzle to an offense that averaged 149.5 yards rushing during the 2012 season.

Named the 2012 Beacon-News Player of the Year and also a member of the Sun-Times All-Area Team for 2012, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Guido ran the ball 319 times for 2,365 yards and 31 touchdowns for Waubonsie Valley this past season, establishing new school single-season records in all three categories.

Keeping tabs with the holdovers from Cubit’s staff and talking to some members of Fleck’s staff, he believes a chance to get on the field right away as a freshman will be there for the taking once fall camp opens in August.

“That’s interesting because the special teams coordinator (J.B. Gibboney) actually told me this weekend at my visit, ‘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 from Division II 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),” Guido said. “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.”

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