Ascolese Enjoys UI Visit, Decision Time Near

New Illinois Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks plays an aggressive style of defense. If there's a player who personifies that aggressive mentality, it's linebacker Vin Ascolese. Ascolese traveled from New Jersey to Illinois for an official visit last weekend and had a great time.

Vin Ascolese has long been on the Illinois radar, but the North Bergen, New Jersey, linebacker finally got a chance to make it to Champaign. It made his impending college decision tougher.

"The visit was great. Definitely, hanging out with the players, being around the staff, and seeing the facilities."

Ascolese was hosted by another linebacker who plays with a mean streak.

"Houston Bates hosted me. Everybody was really cool."

Ascolese also got to know some of the other visitors, including Illinois commitments Vontrell Williams and Mason Monheim.

"I hung out with Mason and Vontrell a lot. They're both cool guys."

The campus really caught Ascolese's attention on his visit. He expected a nice campus scene, but the Illinois campus even exceeded his expectations.

"What's unique is that everything on campus was really nice. All the buildings were really cool. The campus was great.

"I think I was surprised how nice everything was. I mean, I expected it to be pretty nice, but it was even nicer than I expected."

Linebacker coach Mike Ward visited the 6'-2", 215 pounder in recent weeks. He got to know the rest of the defensive staff on his visit.

"It was awesome. The coaches were great people. I had a really good time."

Ascolese got to spend more time this past weekend with Ward, who would be his position coach at Illinois. The two found that they have a lot in common.

"He's a really hard-nosed guy, and he really wants to win."

Coming off consecutive visits to Arkansas and Illinois, Ascolese is approaching a decision, likely in the next few days.

"I'll probably be deciding Friday or early next week. I think I'll do some sort of conference at my school. Probably going to do the hat thing."

Two of his finalists have already been determined, but he's still leaving the door open for the possibility of a third finalist yet to be named.

"It'll be between Illinois and Arkansas. Possibly a third school in the next couple days."

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