Arrington Jenkins (or A.J. as he is sometimes called) is a name that wasn't very familiar to Illinois fans until recently, but the Miami Coral Park linebacker has been on a whirlwind set of visits and took the time to check out Illinois. He liked his visit so much that he canceled his upcoming visit to Nebraska this week.
"Illinois made me cancel my trip to Nebraska. I don't think I'd need to take 2 days out there."
Being from Miami, the scenery is quite different in Dade County. However, Jenkins really liked what he saw at Illinois and had no problem with the campus.
"You know, the weekend was wonderful. It was really good. I like it up there. The only thing I hated was the ride from the airport to the campus."
"I wasn't expecting to see all these fields out here. I wasn't expecting everything to be so close and so nice coming from Miami. I loved it though."
Despite only emerging publicly in the past couple weeks, Illinois has been diligently recruiting him the whole time.
"Illinois has been recruiting me for quite a while after I got my SAT scores and all my grades. They were really the second school to come after me. They told me to call them after the bowl game. The coach was really up front with me and told me the only way he'd bring me up is if they had a scholarship for me. I came over, and I loved it."
Jenkins will have a decision to make very soon regarding his college future. Illinois coaches have put in a lot of time and effort with Jenkins, and it seems to be paying dividends.
"Coach (Joe) Gilbert has been recruiting me. He came down to see me I think 4 times. Coach (Ron) Zook came last week for my home visit. Coach Gilbert and Coach (Dan) Disch are coming in Thursday."
The coaches' timing is good as Jenkins plans to make his pick on Friday.
"I'm looking forward to committing and seeing where I go on Friday."Will Illinois land the coveted backer from Miami? I guess we'll find out Friday. But in the meantime, rest assured that Illinois will be right in the forefront when it comes to decision time.