Trent Hosick is a 4-star quarterback from Staley High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He has a special combination of quarterback skills, running ability and field awareness uncommon among high school athletes.
Illinois has taken notice, impressing Hosick and his family enough to warrant a trip to campus Wednesday.
"One of the things you want most as a recruit when choosing a school is, you want to go to a school where you feel like they really, really want you. I feel that here at Illinois. So we've really been looking forward to getting down here."
Head coach Tim Beckman, recruiting coach Tim Salem and quarterback coach Chris Beatty have all made a strong impression with Hosick.
"We met Coach Beck, Coach Salem and Coach Beatty. It's just been a phenomenal trip. It's a beautiful campus, and this is a winning coaching staff. There's a lot of enthusiasm, and that's very important to a person like me.
"I'm a very passionate player, a very passionate person. I can see passion in the coaches. As little as I've seen of the practices, I can see the passion. It's just been a great trip.
"I've taken a couple of visits recently. I was at Iowa yesterday, and then we came down here. But I can tell you, we were really looking forward to getting to Illinois."
Hosick is a quarterback, but the 6'-2", 220 pounder has also gained recruiting interest as an athlete.
"Most of my offers are for quarterback. I have 13 offers right now, and I think 10 of them are as a quarterback. But I think because of my athleticism, either they feel like they have a quarterback they're comfortable with already and they're wanting me to play linebacker or something as an athlete. K-State offered me as a running back. I just feel my athleticism makes me that much better quarterback.
"Illinois definitely wants me as a quarterback. And I feel like I fit their role in the system here. They ask a quarterback to run, and they ask a quarterback to throw.
"The biggest thing is they ask the quarterback to make the decisions on the field. You've got three or four different plays you can call, but there's a check also. I feel like that's the stuff I'd be really good at. I feel comfortable with the system here."
Hosick has a clear understanding of his quarterback skills.
"When people ask me my strengths as a quarterback, whether I'm a pro-style quarterback or a dual threat quarterback, I say I'm a pro-style quarterback, I can just run a little bit. I feel comfortable sitting in the pocket checking down to receivers and running backs.
"But I also feel comfortable taking off if all that's closed down. For those rare cases where nobody is open or if I need to make something happen with my feet, I can do that as well.
"I think one of the things that makes me different for a quarterback is that I bring the passion of a linebacker to quarterback. I'd like to say that my play brings enthusiasm for the rest of the team. It encourages everybody else."
It's a joy watching Hosick's highlight tape. When he runs with the ball, you can feel his passion, enthusiasm and determination to make a play.
"When I run the ball, I am 100% thinking I'm going to score. But it's for different reasons than people would think.
"When I'm carrying the football I'm thinking, 'In my hands I've got the whole success and dreams of all my teammates and coaches and people around me in my hands. I've got to take care of it.' When I run the ball, I'm thinking I have to get the ball into the end zone for my team. I enjoy it, and that's part of what pushes me in my training."
More than anything, Hosick believes he will continue to improve throughout his career. In that sense and other ways as well, Hosick reminds of current Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who is also from Kansas City.
"I try to become a student of the game. It's what separates the good guys from the great guys. By no means do I know everything yet. I'm still striving to learn. But I want to become as good at it as I can be."
Hosick provides great detail with everything he discusses. That includes an explanation about a possible major in college.
"My major is undecided right now, and I'll tell you why. I thought a long time about what I want to. I want to be a coach, whether it's at the high school level or college level. And so that opens a lot of doors. I can major in anything and become a coach. Now if I want to coach in high school, I probably need to get an education major. But we'll decide that a little bit later on.
"Because I have an open major and am undecided on that, I want to go to a place where there is great academics as well. As far as specific majors being a turnoff for some schools, that's not the case. I just want to go to a place where I know I can be educated, and we can go on and win championships as a football team."
Once the top quarterbacks begin to make their college picks each year, there is a domino effect as others grab their top choices before losing those opportunities. Hosick is aware of that trend but won't be limited by it.
"I have thought about that a little bit. But at the same time, I want to make sure it's the right decision. I've completely handed this decision over to the Lord; wherever he wants me to go is swell.
"We want to make sure we visit the schools and meet the people. The people is the most important thing to me, the relationships with my coaches, teammates and people in the programs. We want to give everybody an opportunity."
Staley had a tremendous 2001 season, but Hosick won't rest on his laurels.
"We won a state championship and were 14-0. We actually ended up the number one team in the state. We are a Class 5 team, not quite Class 6. But we beat some Class 6 teams. Blue Springs South won in Class 6; they went 12-2. We beat Blue Springs, who beat them. So we were ranked number one.
"We are very excited about this year. We graduated a couple of stars, but I'm excited because I get to do some things to help carry my team. I want to make sure I'm prepared to work hard and give my team success. We want to win another state championship."