Evan Wilson, a tight end from Woodstock High School in Georgia, committed to the Fighting Illini on Sunday. Wilson switched his commitment from Middle Tennessee State after he experienced first hand the family atmosphere at Illinois.
"The first day I got there I met Mrs. Zook, and she got me just a big ol' hug. At that moment I felt the family atmosphere. I talked to Coach Nord's wife and every one else's family. They made me feel at home. I just felt that sense of closeness. Even though it's farther away from home than Middle Tennessee, I didn't feel far away.
"I started talking with my parents about a commitment about mid-day Saturday. We started getting really excited about it. I told Coach Zook in person on Sunday. We had a one-on-one meeting and that's when I told him. He was all fired up."
The 6'-6", 235 pound tight end spent the weekend getting acquainted with the coaches and campus.
"We got in on Friday and had lunch. Later, we had dinner at the stadium. It is beautiful by the way. I was blown away by it. Then Saturday, I met with the academic advisors, took a tour of all the football facilities, and then got the campus tour. My host Friday was Greg Fuller and on Saturday it was Pat Nixon."
Wilson met with Offensive Coordinator Paul Petrino and discussed his role with the Illini.
"I would be the designated wide receiver. I would do more vertical routes, stretch the field, and be a mismatch problem for the linebackers."
A few Illinois commitments did their best to convince Wilson to become an Illini.
"I talked to Johnathon Brown and Anthony Williams about Illinois. They had a lot of good things to stay. They were hammering me with it constantly."
For Wilson, the opportunity to attend Illinois isn't just about football.
"The academics are impressive. Just looking at the acceptance rate, you see how difficult of a university it is to get into. That tells you about the prestige of the university.
"Also, it has the largest alumni base in the country so once you get a degree you have a greater chance of being employed. The title carries so much weight in the workforce."