Aaron Bailey led Bolingbrook to the Class 8-A state championship with a win over Chicago Loyola 21-17 in Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois last November. He made another visit to campus Friday and seemed to enjoy himself a great deal.
"We got here about 1:00 pm. I got a chance to see the campus. This is actually our second visit, so I got a chance to see a lot. I like it a lot here. Illinois is most definitely in my top five."
He also appreciates the makeup of the Illini coaching staff.
"It's a diverse school, and it has a diverse group of coaches as well. I like it because you have a coach from just about every conference. I like the coaches a lot, and I wouldn't mind spending time with them.
"Luke Butkus is my recruiting coach. I like him a lot. He's a Chicago guy, he's cool and laid-back. We have a lot in common. A lot of the time, we don't even talk about football. We talk about anything really.
"The other coaches are real cool; I just like them all. They seem like a great group of coaches to be around."
Bailey has also developed a relationship with quarterback coach Chris Beatty.
"I've met him and talked to him on the phone. I've been in quarterback meetings and learned a lot from him that I can use in my football at Bolingbrook. He knows what he's talking about, just like all the coaches. He's a great coach."
College offers have been pouring in for the combo quarterback who is a dominant runner in addition to being a promising passer.
"It's really a blessing to get these offers. I just thank God that I have all these offers. I have an opportunity to choose where I want to go to school and not limit myself to having to go to a school."
Bailey explains how traveling to various schools has multiple benefits.
"It's great. I'm enjoying myself. Me and my dad are enjoying the road trips. It's great bonding time, and at the same time, it's a great time for me to find where I'll go to college for the next four years."
The 6'-2", 220 pound superstar runs the ball so often at Bolingbrook, his highlight tape doesn't demonstrate much of his passing ability. But he is confident enough in his abilities to be unconcerned about the opinions of people who don't know his total package.
"It doesn't matter to me. We win games, that's all I care about. I know I can throw, and everyone else knows I can throw. I've got coaches and people at my school, even college coaches know.
"So I'm not worried about impressing anybody. I'm just going to go out there and play my game and do whatever we need to do to win."
Last year, Bailey said he preferred to stay close to home for college. A meeting with his parents has provided more options.
"I'm opening it up. We've talked about it as a family; I'm hoping to go anywhere for college. Having my parents drive a long way is in the back of my mind, but we're just going to pray about it and see where I go."
Bailey is an intelligent, well-spoken young man who has the natural skills to go into Sports Broadcasting, his preferred major. He has an idea when he might decide on a college, but competition at a school will not be a consideration.
"The latest is going into my senior season. It'll probably be during the summer. I'm not worried about where such-and-such goes. I love competition. If it's my school and I want to go there, I'm not going to worry about who goes there. Regardless of where I go, I'm going to have to compete. So I'm not worried about that."
With his talent and leadership abilities, don't be surprised if Bolingbrook makes a run at another state championship in 2012.
"I can't wait for the season to start up. Everyone seems motivated, I'm motivated. If God says it, we're going to get another ring."