Ex-Wando star President will transfer to Illinois

Former Wando start Gimel President (42) will transfer from Auburn to Illinois for his final college season. (Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics)

Former Wando High School standout Gimel President will transfer from Auburn to Illinois for the final season of his college football career, Wando coach Jimmy Noonan said Wednesday.

President, a 6-4, 263-pound defensive lineman, played three seasons at Auburn, with 12 tackles and two sacks in 10 games last season. In 2014, President played in 12 games, starting nine, and totaled 30 tackles and a sack.

As a graduate-student transfer — President is scheduled to graduate from Auburn in May — he’ll be eligible immediately at Illinois, which plays in the Big Ten.

Former Citadel assistant coach Al Seamonson, now a linebackers coach at Illinois, recruited President to Maryland out of high school and stayed in touch with the family.

“I just think he felt comfortable with that relationship,” Noonan said. “Gimel got his release about two weeks ago, and he didn’t want to drag this out.”

President also heard from North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and “a lot of smaller schools” such as Charleston Southern, Stony Brook and Jacksonville State, Noonan said.

At Wando, President was a Post and Courier All-Lowcountry player, a Shrine Bowl pick and a Parade All-American.