Bremen Back Says Illini In Top Two

Illinois has a rich history of running backs and is becoming a popular consideration for numerous top runners. One home-state back made a return trip to see the Illini in action Thursday at spring practice.

David Smith's stock has risen quickly over the past few months. The 6'-0", 190 pound running back not only possesses good strength, but he is a constant big-play threat with his speed.

He came to see Illinois on a previous Junior Day as the Illini men's basketball team took on Iowa. A month later, he came back to watch Illini spring practice and spend time seeing the campus more in-depth.

"Actually, the first time I didn't really get to see the campus as much. I was more familiar with the coaches and players this time around."

Smith made the trip with both his high school coach and his mother. Smith's mother really likes what she's seen of Illinois and would have no problem if Illinois was his choice.

"It was great having my mom come down and meet Coach (DeAndre) Smith and Coach )Ron) Zook. They made a really good impression on her. My mom kind of said that this would be a good school for me, but everywhere we go she likes it too. So I take it one day at a time."

The Illini have a strong cast of running backs in the fold. However, depth won't scare away Smith.

"Coach Smith has two tailbacks coming in this year with Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young. They're talented, so it'll be a good mix."

Smith is a natural competitor. A track athlete as well, he is always willing to put in the work necessary to achieve his goals.

"I know I'll have to come in and compete of course. It should be fun, and that's fine by me."

Illinois was a clear leader for Smith for awhile, but recently another Big Ten program climbed into the picture for him, and they are making a strong push for his services.

"Things are kind of neck and neck with Illinois and Iowa. Iowa City was amazing to me. The thing is, it's tough. I think it's definitely going to be an opportunity to play for a home state school though if that's what I pick."

Smith has gotten a chance to meet the offensive field general for Illinois. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has a personality to which people gravitate.

"I've met Nathan Scheelhaase before. He seems like a great dude. I've already heard a lot about him. I might just have to play with him."

As for some other spring visits, Smith is getting around, both near and far. He had to call off a visit to Minnesota this weekend due to a track meet, but he plans on seeing the Gophers's campus soon.

"Chances are I'll try to get to Minnesota sometime next week. I'm going to try to get out to West Virginia sometime too."

Iowa hasn't offered Smith yet. He is also hearing from another school known for productive backs.

"Oregon State and Iowa are probably close to offering."

Smith doesn't want to deal with the hassle of recruiting this fall. Obviously plans can change, but for now he hopes to have his college destination chosen before he plays a game this fall.

"I should know where I want to go by the end of the summer. I may not, but we'll see."

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