Brock Macaulay lives in tiny Millersburg, Ohio, and attends West Holmes High School, a consolidation of three small towns around 20 minutes South of Wooster. He has been overlooked by most colleges until recently.
"I didn't attend any camps last year. I sent my video to Scouting Ohio, and that's what's gotten me my recognition."
He had no previous interaction with Illinois coaches who worked in Toledo before being hired by the Illini. Fortunately, a friend who knew UI linebacker coach Mike Ward made the connection for him.
"I had never heard of Coach (Tim) Beckman or Coach (Alex) Golesh before. The way that they found out about me was through Coach Ward. Coach Ward showed my video to Coach Beckman and Coach Golesh."
They are intrigued, to say the least. They encouraged him to check out the school and football program, which he did for Junior Day March 10 plus the Spring Game last Saturday.
"I really enjoyed it. I had a great time. I really like how it feels on campus. It's not like a big old city."
Since the 6'-6", 235 pounder plays both sides of the ball equally well, he watched both the tight ends and defensive ends during the Spring Game. And he made a point of getting better acquainted with coaches of both positions.
"I really like the coaches at Illinois. I'm kind of in a weird situation because coaches haven't told me what position they want me to play. I could play tight and or defensive end.
"I really like Coach Golesh; he's a nice guy. And I introduced myself to Coach (Keith) Gilmore Saturday. That was the first time I talked to him. He seemed like a really nice guy, and I really like what he does with the defensive ends, like the (Mike) Buchanan kid."
He has assets that make him a viable possibility at multiple positions.
"I feel like I'm a really good blocking tight end, as well as a receiver. I feel like I'm a pretty good receiver, but I stand out at blocking. We run a Wing-T offense, so I'm basically more of a tackle than a tight end. I pride myself on getting pancakes; that's what I really like to do.
"Defensively, I like to speed rush. I'd like to think I'm sort of the type like Buchanan. I was amazed at how quick he gets off the ball. I don't have nearly his athleticism yet, but I like to do the things he does like coming off the edge really hard."
Macaulay knows what he wants in a college.
"I'm looking for good academics. I like the bigger town, more people feel. I like nice facilities; I'm sure everyone does. And I like a place that isn't too far away from home or is airport-accessible because my dad is a pilot. He can come see me play."
He has aspirations beyond football.
"I would like to go into the medical field. Maybe sports medicine or physical therapy, or maybe orthopedic surgeon. I grew up in a family of medical people. My uncle is a veterinarian, three of my aunts are nurses, my grandma was a nurse. So I've pretty much been drawn to medicine."
Macaulay has no offers yet, but that may be about to change.
"I have a lot of schools coming down to see me work out this spring. Pittsburgh is extremely interested. Cincinnati is interested, but they want me to play tackle. They think my agility would make me a good tackle. Also Bowling Green, Akron and schools like that. Illinois, Indiana and others."
What is Illinois saying?
"They want to see me work out. I think they're leaning more towards putting me at defensive end. Either side of the ball is fine with me. They want me to come to a camp. All the schools want me to come to a camp. I'll probably take about two or three big ones."
Macaulay may be relatively unknown right now, but if he has as much potential as it appears, he won't be unknown much longer.