Eaton Spence Discusses Illini Commitment

The Fighting Illini football team picked up a commitment from cornerback Eaton Spence. He actually committed a couple months ago but is finally making it public. The speedy Floridian talks about his decision and his upcoming official visit to campus.

Eaton Spence is committed to the Illinois football program. The Belle Glade, Florida, three sport athlete talks about why he selected the Illini.

"Just talking to Coach (Ron) Zook and Coach (Jeff) Brohm about the facilities and what I can expect when I get up there. They just treated me like family."

Spence chose Illinois without having seen the campus. He will visit officially this weekend. His teammate and fellow cornerback J.T. Thornton committed to the Illini last fall, and he put in a good word.

"He was telling me it was a great place to be. That helped me make my decision."

The 6'-0", 170 pounder actually committed some time ago. He explains why word didn't get out any sooner on his decision.

"I told Coach Brohm, but I didn't know who to get in touch with to announce it publicly."

Spence shares his strengths as a cornerback.

"Man-to-man coverage and tackling. And ball skills."

What does he want to work on?

"Just the different speed for college from high school. I want to get used to it."

Glades Day School has now won back-to-back state championships in the Florida 1-B Division for small schools. Spence was a do-everything player as a senior.

"I played receiver, running back. I don't remember how many touchdowns I scored. I think I scored three receiving, three running, and two kick returns. But I mainly stayed on defense. I played both cornerback and safety."

Illini coaches left no doubt the position they want Spence to play.

"Illinois talked to me about coming up and playing cornerback and helping the secondary out."

Illinois is his only official visit. With his three-sport schedule, there isn't much time to take trips.

"I also play basketball and track. Our basketball team isn't doing so good."

Even though cold weather will greet him when he travels to Champaign-Urbana this weekend, he isn't concerned.

"No, not really. Anyplace I can play football, I'll make it feel like home."

Spence chose the Illini over Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Marshall and West Virginia.

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