Jevaris Little Discusses Why He Chose Illini

The Fighting Illini football team bolstered it's defensive backfield when it obtained a commitment from Florida cornerback Jevaris Little. Don't be fooled by the lack of a rating by The St. Petersburg star picked the Illini over Big 10 foe Indiana and has a promising future. He talks about his decision in this report.

Jevaris Little took an official visit to Illinois over the past weekend. The 6'-1", 180 pound cornerback discussed his entire trip in vivid detail.

"When I first got there, I talked to Coach Beck (Tim Beckman), Coach (Mike) Ward, and Coach (Tim) Banks quickly. I arrived late, so I missed all of the beginning festivities. But when talking to the coaches, I could tell they could give me the support I would need to go off to college.

Then that night, I went off with Ryan Langford, and he showed me a good time. He introduced me to some of the players, and I have to say they were awesome—I liked every single player I met. They welcomed me as a part of the family, even though I had not committed yet, and treated me as if I were a brother.

"When Saturday came, they took us on the tour of the school. Academics were a point; they showed us some one-on-one stuff with their sociology program.

I heard Illinois was one of the top schools in the nation; I think they rank somewhere in the Top 50. I know that football is not going to last forever, and I will need something to fall back on with academics, so I thought that would be a great fit with me.

"After the tour, I got the chance to talk to a few more of the coaches, and I thought they were awesome. I feel comfortable with them. Then later that night, I went back out with Ryan, and he showed me another good time."

Little, who had his list narrowed down to Illinois and Indiana, was impressed so much on his visit, he committed to Illinois right afterward. He shared exactly why he chose Illinois.

"I just love the college atmosphere, I love the facilities, and I love the football stadium and being a part of the Big Ten. It's exceptional because I get to play in front of thousands of people week in and week out on TV, and I felt it would be a great opportunity for me.

"I committed because I want to be a part of the program and go into the direction Coach Beck is trying to drive the program now. I feel confident and see myself being the face of the defense in three years."

The product of Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, had a positive impression of the Illini coaching staff before his visit. He knew several of the Illini coaches previously, mainly due to his prior recruitment by Toledo. This included his future secondary coach Steve Clinkscale. Little shared his perspective on several members of the Illinois coaching staff.

"First off, secondary Coach Clinkscale was recruiting me when he was at Toledo. He was recruiting me hard and trying to get me there. Then, when he went to Illinois, he started picking up his recruitment of me.

He took a visit to my house twice when at Toledo, and we kind of bonded. He is an important figure to me—a great mentor and someone I can look up to when I go to college. I just feel like I can communicate with Coach Clinkscale.

"Coach Banks, he knows some of my people down here, and we have mutual friends like Louis Murphy, who played for the Raiders. He knows me from Louis, and I know him from Louis as well, so that worked out pretty well.

"Coach Beck, ever since he left Toledo, he's been trying to get me to come to Illinois. He had a chance to see me at Toledo as well. The weekend he left, he called me up and told me he was really interested and wanted me to be a Fighting Illini.

Coach Ward and I have a history back at Toledo as well. So I have a history with all the coaches at Illinois."

Little still got to spend time around several other Illini players besides Lankford. They made him feel as if he was already a part of the Illini family.

"Besides Ryan, I was around Glenn Foster, Nathan Scheelhaase, Donovonn Young, and a few other guys I can't remember. I love those guys. In the time I got to hang out with those guys, I felt like I was back at home with my people. I felt like I could really get comfortable with those guys, and we could become a family."

Little shared his opinion of the Illinois football program that is now headed a new direction under Beckman's leadership.

"They were able to start off 6-0 and dropped their last six, but they won their bowl game. I think we can take that momentum from the bowl game and develop what we need to over the spring and summer. Then, over time, we can be the top team in the Big Ten and win championships, go to the BCS Championship, and make Illinois one of the top teams in the nation."

Little is uncertain about playing time next season, but he understands he still needs to work hard because his time will come eventually.

"I know there will be two seniors at cornerback, so I do not know if I will redshirt. But, when an opportunity does present itself, I am going to go out there and play my hardest. It doesn't matter if I am a true freshman or a senior, I will play my hardest."

Is Little solid with Illinois, or will he continue to look at other schools?

"I am for sure sticking with Illinois."

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