Illinois is thin at the defensive tackle positions and is searching for quality athletes to recruit. Among those under consideration is Darrian Dyson. The New Orleans defensive lineman is intrigued by an Illini offer.
"I'm gonna pick my five schools to take my official visits. I'm planning on taking an official visit up there during the season."
Illini assistant coach Ron West is the point man on Dyson's recruitment. Up to now, contact has been limited by NCAA edict.
"I don't know that much about them yet. Coach West and I have been talking on the phone and stuff like that. I'm supposed to call him again at the end of this month."
What other schools are recruiting him?
"Baylor, Pitt, Miami a little bit, schools like that."
Does he have a childhood favorite?
"My favorite school growing up was the Texas Longhorns. They haven't offered me yet."
Illinois is recruiting the 6'-3", 300 pounder as a defensive tackle, but that's not his primary high school position.
"I play end, but I can go inside too. Wherever they put me at. I'm being recruited both at end and tackle."
Dyson talks about his strengths as a defender and what he needs to improve.
"I move well, and I'm strong. I'm aware, and I'm a good run defender. I need to work on my pass rush. My pads are too high on my pass rush, but I'm working on that."
Edna Karr Magnet School attracts students with better academic records. So it is not surprising he wants a college that is strong academically.
"I'm looking for a school that has my major Communications. If I don't go to the League, will I be able to graduate? I also want a good football program, stuff like that."
Dyson realizes both he and his team could have fared better last season.
"Last year I did fine, but I could have done a whole lot better. As a team, we just weren't communicating right."
This year holds much promise.
"The team is looking better, and we have a lot more communication than last year. We're trying to put in a new quarterback; he's more like a running back. But we're gonna be fine. All the positions are looking good, so we should go back to state this year."
Illinois is also recruiting teammate Derek Edinburgh, a giant offensive lineman. The two go against each other in practice.
"He's our right tackle. We help make each other better."