"I just came to hang out a little bit and see the coaches in action," he said.
Mallory has been on the Illinois radar for a long time, so it's no surprise that the relationship Mallory has with Illinois is a solid one.
"I have a good relationship with Illinois," he said. "I've been talking with the coaches for a while, and when I come here I feel home a little bit. It's been nice. I have a good relationship with the coaches."
The Illini were also one of the first programs to offer Mallory. That early recognition still sticks in his mind when thinking about the U of I.
"It was definitely pretty big for me," Mallory said. "I've come here for a couple camps when I was younger and I always remember liking Illinois back then. I always knew I liked the coaches, and whenever I got the offer, that was big for me."
College will be a big step for Mallory, but the step won't be as much of a shock for him when that time comes. That is mostly due to the move he made this offseason to IMG Academy. IMG has a university atmosphere, which is preparing Mallory early for the college environment.
"Probably the big differences are that it's almost like a college down there," he said. "I don't have my parents down there, and I'm on my own a lot. I go to school from 7:30 in the morning until 12:30 and from then on, it's football. It's cool and I like it a lot."
He continued, "I feel like it's preparing me big time for college. The players I'm playing with down there are good players. The guys I'm going against on defense are making me a better player."
Illinois was one a handful of Mallory's stops this spring. He's most of the way through his visits now, but still has a couple left to go.
He continued, "I'm really hoping Wisconsin offers after the camp, but we'll just have to see."
With a decision potentially coming in the next couple months, Mallory talked about the qualities he will be looking for in his eventual choice.
"Definitely good coaches," he said. "I'm looking for something that feels like home, and also something that fits my education. Right now I'm looking at Construction Management and Engineering."
Many recruits try to get their decision out of the way before their senior seasons begin, but Mallory says he isn't going to force the issue if he doesn't feel right about any one school in particular.
"I'll try to make a decision here before my senior season to get it out of the way so I don't have to worry about it and can focus on my season," he said. "If I don't feel like I'm ready to make my decision then I'll wait until after the season and until I know where I want to go."