Cary, Ill., native Michael Vilardo signed with the Will County CrackerJacks on March 3, 2012. He redshirted his freshman season at the University of Pennsylvania and will have four years of eligibility remaining at the Philadelphia, Pa., university. Vilardo began his collegiate career at the University of Richmond, where he played hockey during his freshman year.
Vilardo played his high school baseball at Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill. Following his senior season at Cary-Grove in 2011, Vilardo was selected to the Illinois All-State team by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times Media Group and the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association. In addition, he was named the Northwest Herald Baseball Player of the Year and Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year.
The Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year is awarded to an athlete that excels both on the field and in the classroom. In high school, Vilardo compiled a 4.35 grade-point average and ranked 10th out of 430 in his senior class.
A standout hockey player, Vilardo scored 18 goals and posted 16 assists at the University of Richmond during the 2011-12 season. He was also named the 2011 Northwest Herald Hockey Player of the Year. After committing to Ohio State University as a sophomore at Cary-Grove, a shoulder injury prompted him to pick up baseball. He hit .436 with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs during his senior season at Cary-Grove and led his squad to the Class 4A Sectional Championship game for the third consecutive season.