Ryan Frain committed to Illinois more than a month ago, before head coach Ron Zook was fired. That news and an offer from Georgia Tech caused him to reconsider, even favoring the Yellow Jackets slightly at one point. But after a weekend visit to the Illini campus, Frain had no doubt where he wanted to go to college.
"I had a fantastic weekend. I called the Georgia Tech coaches and told them I'm gonna go play for Illinois. It wasn't easy to do because I had all the respect in the world for that program, but after this visit it was clear where I wanted to come play."
A big selling point was new coach Tim Beckman.
"Coach Beckman was with us almost the entire weekend because he didn't have to go to practice. I got to know him and the other coaches who are gonna be here next year. I got a good vibe from them.
"(Beckman) is a great guy. I like his energy, his vision. He's always smiling and has a good personality. He's someone I'd like to enjoy being around for the next 4-5 years."
Frain also had great respect for Zook, so Beckman needed to do some selling.
"I loved Coach Zook; I thought he was great. That's why I was strong with my commit. I liked him a lot, but I can see this program is going in a good direction."
Frain received a crash course in all things Illinois during his visit.
"We were extremely busy. They try to cram as much in in the 48 hours that they have as they possibly can, and they do. They showed us around campus, showed us some of the equipment. They took us out to nice meals; we didn't go hungry.
"That was the first time I'd really seen the campus and been around student life. I thought that it was great. It seems like a good fit."
He also spent time with the other specialists on the team.
"They're great guys. I'm disappointed Derek (Dimke) won't be around just to hang out. He says he's still gonna come back in the spring and work with those guys. He'll still be a student there. He's not just an athlete but a student-athlete."
Frain liked Illinois to begin with, but Beckman appears to have been his deciding factor.
"I'm really happy with staying here because I know he's gonna do a lot for the program. He's a great person, and I know he's gonna be a great coach and have success over the next 5-10 years."