"I'm feeling great," he said. "It's a weight off my shoulders. I can focus on my senior season now."
Chadwell held other offers from Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Kent State, and other Big Ten programs were beginning to show increased interest. He had considered waiting it out to see which other offers came, but last weekend's visit to Champaign sealed the deal.
"It felt right in my gut. It just seemed like the right kind of school for me. I love the coaches. Coach Butkus is a great guy and will be a great coach to play for and I love Coach Beckman."
Chadwell is a tackle in high school and is slated to stay there in college, so long as he puts in the work to add some pounds, which he says he has no problem doing.
"They said they need tackle bodies and I'm one of them. They're going to put weight on me and turn me into the Big Ten tackle they know I can be. I'm 250-lbs right now, but I've been doing combine training for awhile and trying to focus on speed for combines I was going to. I don't have to worry about that, now I can worry about weight. This summer and in my senior year, I'll be putting on the weight."
Because of that work ethic combined with his physical talent, the Illini coaches were happy to hear of Chadwell's decision.
"They were pretty excited. Coach Butkus, I gave him a call and he was going on and on about how pumped he was to have me. I got on the phone with Coach Beckman and he was excited. He said it's my team now. I'm officially a Fighting Illini and they were all really happy for me."
And most importantly, Chadwell is happy for himself and more than comfortable with his decision.
"It's unreal. I never imagined myself playing in the Big Ten. Watching TV, watching the linemen working, and now knowing that's going to be me. I can't believe it."