UI In Good Position With McGaster After Visit

Illinois hosted a number of top football prospects on Saturday. Defensive back Torren McGaster came all the way from Alabama and left Illinois with plenty of good things to say.

Torren McGaster, a cornerback from Alabama powerhouse Daphne, has been a defensive playmaker for his team thus far this season. Daphne remains undefeated, and a number of their players are a part of that.

"We're doing pretty good. We're undefeated. Everyone's doing their assignments, and we're trying to continue it."

McGaster is a stellar athlete on both sides of the ball, but defense is where he excels. Physicality is his M. O..

"They put me on offense a little bit, but I'm mostly all corner. I'm getting faster and more physical. I'm playing the zone better. I need to work on the zone a bit more, but those are good."

McGaster is slightly bigger than some corners that come out of high school. Much like current Illini Tavon Wilson or the Chicago Bears's Charles Tillman, his size is something he can use to his advantage.

"I'm about 5'11" and 180 pounds. It gives me an advantage to be bigger. Against taller guys it helps. I can pretty well shut down little guys. I get the big guys too."

Despite his size, McGaster excels in pass coverage. He can step up and make the tackle, but he prides himself in shutting down the other team's top target.

"I'm pretty much a cover corner. It depends who the other team's best player is, and they usually match me with that guy. I can come up and make the tackle, but I can cover too."

McGaster checked out some schools in his area over the summer in the way of camps and combines.

"I went to Alabama's camp, Auburn's camp, I went to UAB's camp at our school. I visited UAB too."

Illinois, however, was McGaster's first official visit. The game day atmosphere definitely put him in good spirits.

"I really liked it there. The campus and the people around there are great. The players were nice, and the coaches were nice. It was crazy. I liked the stripe thing in the stands. They had some dance moves to go with the band too."

Aside from the game, McGaster got to spend time with and get to know some of the players and coaches.

"I talked to Coach (Ron) Zook and some of the players. The players and Coach Zook said the same thing. They said Coach Zook really means what he says. I got to talk to Ryan Lankford and Evan Wilson. They're some nice guys."

McGaster also got to interact with his recruiting coach as well as his potential future position coach and defensive coordinator.

"Coach (Chip) Long and Coach Vic (Koenning) talked to me. I got to talk to Coach (Mike) Gillhamer too. He showed me some of the stuff they do in meetings. They run the same defense we do in high school with some small differences. It would make it easier to get on the field early. I'd just have to keep working."

McGaster is being recruited by a number of other schools, but after this visit, Illinois has put itself in good position.

"Minnesota, UAB, Vanderbilt and a couple others. Illinois is basically at the top though. The atmosphere and the people in Illinois are really nice. It's nice in Champaign."

Don't expect McGaster to rush into a decision though. Daphne's season has his focus right now, and he wants to experience the entire recruiting process before making a decision.

"I'll probably wait until after the season and take my official visits to see how other schools are and things like that. Illinois set the bar pretty high. After what I saw, I really like it."

One thing that could factor into his decision is teammate Eric Lee, a defensive end for Daphne, who visited Illinois with McGaster.

"It's probably about 50/50 right now. Eric and I are going to sit down and talk about things. We'll see what we want to do. We have a few offers in common. That kind of helps decide where we're visiting. Eric will probably take some of the other visits with me too."

Though the Illini came up short on Saturday, they still left a lasting impression.

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