Damon Knox Sees Improved Illini D First Hand

The Illinois defensive line has come a long way in the past year. Seeking talent for the future, one of their targets for 2011 was able to take in the Purdue game. Illinois made a big impression on him.

Damon Knox, a defensive lineman from Muskegon, Michigan, made the trip to Champaign-Urbana with three of his teammates to watch Illinois rout Purdue Saturday. Knox's only previous visit was for the spring game.

This visit made a much bigger impression on the defender as he got to see the vast improvement of the Illinois defense in action.

"I enjoyed myself. I think they're really strong. They're a young team but they can do big things."

Knox especially took notice of the Illini defense, which has been impressing many thus far this season.

"I think they're strong and aggressive. Hopefully I can be part of that and add my part to it."

But Knox took notice of more than just the defense. He saw an Illini team that has turned things around, which really caught his eye.

"I think the run game was a little off, but other than that it was good. They have a good quarterback, and I really liked that. I was really impressed with the defense."

So what does the Illinois visit do for Knox in terms of ranking the schools on his list?

"It gives me a much better idea. I like this much more. My mom really likes it, the academics especially, and how they help you out."

Knox, who now has seen both an Illinois game as well as the Michigan State game vs. Notre Dame, doesn't really have many other visits planned for sure yet but admits he might revisit one school.

"I'm probably going to go to another State game. After that it's just playoff football."

Recently Michigan slipped a bit on Knox's list, but he isn't totally ruling them out at this point.

"I'm not making a decision any time soon, I'm just taking my time."

Right now, Knox's focus is on helping his Muskegon team defend its state title. This year might prove a little tougher than before, but Knox is up for the challenge.

"During the regular season, we went 6-3. We want to win state, we want to prove everyone wrong that's talking down on us. They think we're weak, and we want to prove them wrong. We have to play in playoff mode."

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