Pat Flavin, a 6'7" 260 pound offensive tackle from Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois, has been on the Illinois radar for quite some time. He is one of the top remaining uncommitted prospects in the state.
Benet is not a traditional power in football, but that hasn't kept Flavin and his Benet team from doing whatever they can to make a splash. They've had mixed results so far this season.
"So far we're 3-3," Flavin says. "We've lost some games we should have won. We didn't close out some teams how we should have in the 4th quarter. We've had some special teams miscues like blocked punts and missed extra points.
"I think we go in with the expectation to win, but we know we don't always get that. We want to get to 5 wins and get to the playoffs in 7A."
The game of football requires effort from all eleven people on the field at one time. Flavin has more than done his part to step up his game this year for his team as well as prepare himself for the next level.
"I'd say it's a lot improved from last year. Just looking back, the stuff I wanted to improve on coming into the year, like finishing on blocks, I'm doing much better on. I also wanted to get off the ball faster, and I've been doing a good job of that.
"My athleticism in pass blocking is my strong suit. The line as a whole is doing a good job. We lost our quarterback to injury so we've been having to run a lot more."
Faced with adversity, the team has had to adjust, Flavin included.
"I think as a team we have to execute our plays and not beat ourselves. It's tough to lose like that. All we can do is finish games and put ourselves in a position to win late in games.
"For me, I need to play hard, play at a high level and show leadership. I want to hopefully take some momentum into the playoffs."
Flavin doesn't let recruiting get in the way of the team, but between school and football he has found some time to fit it in.
"It's been going well. It's gotten hectic since school started. It's different now than it was last year. I'm handling it pretty well and taking it in stride. The only visit so far in the fall has been to Illinois unofficially. Other than that I've just been talking to coaches and watching teams."
Flavin got out to a few schools for a look during the summer before attending the Illini home game with Ohio State in early October.
"I went to Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Boston College, Cal and UCLA over the summer."
Reflective of the caliber of schools at which he is looking, Flavin already has a relatively solid plan for school and what he expects to find in his eventual college home.
"I want to major in History or Political Science. It's what I'm into right now. My classes this year are going really well, and they're shaping my career choices. It's what I enjoy doing, and it's what I'm pretty good at."
Illinois didn't come out with the win against the Buckeyes, but Flavin saw a lot of positives in the game and was quite impressed.
"I loved Illinois. I loved the visit. Any time I can get down there and see the coaches again it's great. They played better than them for most of the game. The offensive line more than held their own against a great Ohio State defensive line.
"It's great talking to Coach (Ron) Zook. We didn't even talk about recruiting, just about school and stuff. Same with Coach (Joe) Gilbert and Coach (Paul) Petrino. I've always loved the school and the campus. Any time I'm down there I love it more and more. I think Illinois has pretty close to the full package."
Flavin has a long list of offers at this point, but rather than narrow down his list of schools he is focusing on his visits.
"I'm still looking at everybody, still evaluating. The only thing I'm narrowing down is trips. I need to get out to see Oregon since I haven't seen them yet. I'll see what happens and go from there."
Originally, Flavin planned to have his recruitment out of the way much sooner.
"I planned to commit before the school year started. That didn't happen, but I'm still trying to do it quickly. It's tough setting up trips during the season. I may have to wait until after the season. Until I see a school in person and evaluate it myself I won't rule it out. So whenever the time is right I'll make my choice. I want it to be solid, and I want to be sure about it."
Though he is a national recruit sought after by some of the top programs on either coast, there's a strong chance that Flavin could end up playing for his home-state program.