Tajarvis Fuller committed to Illinois last spring. Despite the change in head coaches, he remained committed. He is now enrolled in school and will participate in spring ball. He appears to be acclimating well to his new surroundings.
"I'm enjoying it right now. I've been getting adjusted to everything, including school. I'm definitely working hard to get bigger and get faster so I can play in September."
This winter has been warmer in the Midwest than usual, but cold weather is unfamiliar to the Fort Myers, Florida, star. He has a simple philosophy to counter cold weather.
"I'm not really having that much trouble. If you put on more clothes, you'll be warm."
Of course, with classes and winter conditioning, there is little time to worry about weather. Fuller is benefitting from working with new Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Hillman.
"I'm definitely enjoying him. When I go in there, he wants me to work hard. Be a top dog. If you're slacking, you're going to pay for it. He's gonna make sure he pushes you to the level you need. He's gonna make you get stronger."
Fuller is surprised how quickly he has gained weight since arriving on campus.
"Right now, I'm weighing 185. I had lost weight in the off-season, not really lifting much. But in the first two weeks since I got here, it's been amazing how I put on the weight. I'm gonna just keep on doing what I'm doing.
"I've already gained 10 pounds. It's been a shock to me because I couldn't put on the weight at home. But when you get to college, you eat and lift. That's it."
The new Illini coaches have designated one defensive secondary position as the "Star." It is somewhat similar to the hybrid SAM linebacker/nickel back incorporated by Vic Koenning on the previous Illinois staff. Fuller expects to compete there.
"The want me to start playing the Star position. They want me to move around and put my face in."
He played all over the field in high school. Sometimes, he lined up as a nose guard to pressure the quarterback on pass plays. His cover responsibilities will be somewhat new to him, but he expects to adapt quickly.
"It's all about playing football. You have to get used to playing faster against people bigger and stronger than you. That's why I'm here in January; get used to it now so I'll be adjusted by fall."
Fuller is still contemplating a possible major.
"Right now, I'm coming in undecided. So they have me in a DGS (Division of General Studies) program."