Jacksonville, Florida, wide receiver Isaiah Stallings has been high on the Illinois football program for quite some time now, but his recent visit to Illinois for the game against Northern Illinois convinced him even more that Illinois is his top school at this point.
"Everyone was cool, the players accepted me right away. It kind of felt like home."
Spending an entire weekend in Champaign, Stallings got to take in more of the campus than just the game, and he was able to enjoy plenty of time spent with the players as well.
"I got to see the recreation center that had bowling and all that. The weight room was big, and the training equipment was cool too. The new dorm rooms for the freshmen looked real nice. The campus is great."
Specifically Stallings got to spend time with a couple of fellow Floridian receivers during his stay.
"John and Curt, they're pretty good and they have a lot of offers. Curt and I playing the same position, we talked about how we play. I just left Curt and John about 15 minutes ago at the airport. We were on the same flight back to Atlanta. We all exchanged numbers and we'll be talking."
The game against Northern Illinois was nothing short of exciting, and the crowd was a big part of it, something Stallings really noted.
"The game was great. The crowd was awesome. Everybody seemed like they were into the game, and they came out with the hard fought win. I liked how the quarterback was jumping everywhere."
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and the Illinois offense seem familiar to Stallings, mainly because they bear a strong resemblance to his Raines High School team. That fact gives him the feeling that he could fit in just fine at Illinois.
"I think I could fit in very well. I have a lot of the players telling me about the offense and how it would be a great fit. It's similar to our offense at Raines. Nate reminds me of my high school quarterback so much."
A persistent presence in the Jacksonville area, Stallings is very familiar with Coach Dan Disch, which put any of his worries of being away from home at ease.
"Coach Disch is awesome. He's like a father away from home. I kind of felt like I'd be homesick over the weekend, but he and everybody treated me well. I had a good time with the players. Coach Disch is just a great person."
Outside of Illinois, Stallings doesn't really have any imminent plans for other visits, but he doesn't rule out the possibility.
"I don't have any, but I may take visits after the seasons if I do. I need to go home and talk to my parents and see how they feel about the situation and feel things out."
So after his visit, where does Stallings rank Illinois?
"They're at the top right now. I would say the relationship between the coaches and the players sets them apart. They're with you on and off the field. I talk to Donsay Hardeman a lot, and he tells me about how the relationship between the coaches and the players off the field is so close."
Though he has Illinois as a definite leader, Stallings says that some schools are still showing interest in him.
"I'll probably have my decision made up by November. Other schools I talk to though are Middle Tennessee State, Stanford, Florida, Alabama State, Rutgers, and Elon."
Though other schools may check in on Stallings, it is clear that at this point they have a lot of ground to make up.