The decision is in, nearly a month before four-star offensive lineman Gabe Megginson's birthday -- his deadline for giving his verbal commitment to a school.
That commitment came Friday, as the Jacksonville (Ill.) standout choose Illinois while on campus during a list minute trip to see the Illini.
"I just set up the visit, Wednesday night when I told Coach RIcker. I just let him know, so they had a spot for me."
The rest of the staff, Megginson told while he was on campus. But Coach Ricker's response was something Megginson won't soon forget.
"He was like, are you serious? I said, yeah I am," Megginson said. "He said you are making me tear up. He said he got all emotional real quick. I love the emotion."
Just a year ago, Megginson was a relative newcomer to the recruiting trail. Adding his first offer from Akron, the next at Wisconsin's camp, and the third quickly came the next weekend during the Illini's camp.
"It was really surprising, we weren't even done with camp so just going through the rest of camp knowing that I had an offer was crazy," Megginson said in June of 2013. "The first thing that went through my head was that my home team was offering me."
"I just sat down and realized who has been there for me the whole time," Megginson said. "And I believe in them because they have been there for my family. I just thought on it a couple nights, and I just had to just commit."
The 6-foot-5, 290 pound offensive lineman recently returned from a swing of visits throughout the east coast, but in the end home was where his heart was -- plus he kept hearing positive things about the coaching staff at Illinois.
"I mean I went down to Arksansas and that offensive line coach was Coach Ricker's at Missouri, and you hear his name all around and you hear how good of a person he is," Megginson said. "You know when other coaches are talking about each other, that's a good coach. What he has done with the offensive lineman in a year has been crazy, I can't wait to see what he can do with me by the time I graduate."
It's not just Coach Ricker that set the Illini staff apart for Megginson.
""The thing is with them that is different, Coach Beckman you can call him whenever you want and he will answer," Megginson said. "You don't have to set up an appointment to talk to him, he is like an assistant out there recruiting and available."
Megginson is the second highest rated prospect in the state of Illinois, and the third commit from the state to choose the Illini. Adding to Champaign Centennial quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald and Dekalb running back Dre Brown.
"Honestly when I thought about it, Coach Richer asked me if I have any worries about the staff," Megginson said. "I said, sometimes I hear all this talk about how the coaches could not be around forever. His response was 'I am not going to say we are going to be here forever, but who do you want to play next to and who do you want to siting in the locker room and weight room and next too?"
He added, "The first person that I thought about was Dre Brown, and that helped me realize that it is all about the relationships."
And now, Megginson couldn't be happier to call himself part of Illinois' 2015 class.
"It is just so good to feel that I was committed, I could call every other coach and tell them that I was going to go to Illinois," Megginson said. "It is definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders. I could relax a lot more now. It is just a big difference."