His mother was crying tears of joy. His dad was trying to hide his extreme pleasure seeing his son follow his footsteps to his alma mater. Bryce Douglas, son of former Illinois all-timer Bruce Douglas, earned a scholarship offer from the Illini today and accepted immediately.
"It's great, and I'm accepting it no matter what. It's a great opportunity. My dad went here, my mom went here. I hope to keep the legacy going by having my kids come here. I'm excited.
The Plainfield Central one-technique defensive tackle proved worthy with his play at the Illinois lineman camp today. But the process began some time ago.
"In the spring when I came down here, I could tell Coach (Tim) Beckman brought in a great staff. And Coach (Keith) Gilmore, it was just a blessing he got to stay. He knew what I could do.
"So I thank Coach Gilmore for the opportunity to be here. He kept his eye on me. I came down here and worked my butt off for him. I knew what he was doing to keep me in the loop, and I thank him wholeheartedly for that. Today at camp I worked hard for him, for my family, for the U of I. I got an offer, and I'm taking it."
The 6'-1", 330 pounder benefitted from Gilmore's tutelage today.
"I learned hard work pays off. I get double-teamed and held a lot, so Coach Gilmore taught us some techniques that will help. So I'm planning to have a big season this year. Take the tips, work hard and not do anything to mess up."
Douglas shares his strengths as a d-lineman.
"I come hard every play. I've got great size, and my speed's great. As I keep trimming down and getting faster, you'd better believe I'm coming 100% every time. It's gonna take more than one person to stop me."
The offer and commitment takes a big load off his mind.
"Oh yeah. The other offers I had from Central Michigan, Illinois State and MAC schools, they're good people, good staffs. They'll treat you like a family, but the legacy is here, and I'm excited to be coming here."
Douglas is the 12th known commitment for the Illini program that appears to be gaining steam as summer begins.