Illini Offer Ohio DE After Productive Camp

Some athletes show their interest in a college by traveling long distance at their own expense to make visits or attend summer camps. D.J. Smoot came to Barrington, Illinois all the way from Ohio to participate in a UI one-day camp. He was rewarded with a coveted Illini offer.

Speaking before the start of an Illinois one-day camp in Barrington, D.J. Smoot anticipated good news.

"They've been looking at me a lot. They said there's going to be an offer for me here."

When he got the news after camp, Smoot had a big smile on his face.

"I feel great about that. I really like the University."

The Groveport, Ohio, defensive end came to the June 3rd Nike Football Training Camp on the UI campus. While he labeled his performance only mediocre that day, he came a day early and was able to learn more about the university.

"I got to tour the campus. It's pretty big; I like how big it is. It's nice, and it's clean; it's like it's all new."

His recruiting coach for the Illini is Alex Golesh. The two have a good relationship. He also likes defensive line coach Keith Gilmore.

"I especially like Coach Golesh. And the defensive line coach of course. I've learned a lot from working with him."

The 6'-3", 228 pounder describes his attributes, which the Illini coaching staff noticed as well.

"I think my speed, and I'm versatile. I can play any position on the team. And right or left side doesn't matter either."

Smoot knows the importance of hard work.

"I'd like to work on my strength, getting up in weight. And there's always room to improve. You've always got to train, always got to get better."

He was unstoppable in one-on-ones at the Barrington camp. His combination of speed and ability to change directions quickly were a devastating combination. Of course, other schools have noticed also.

"Besides Illinois, I have offers from Ball State, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Youngstown and Ohio University. But I have a lot of Big Ten schools staying in contact with me.

"Right after this, I'm going to camps at Indiana, Iowa, and I'll fly into Detroit and do a camp at Michigan State."

What does he want in a college?

"I'm looking for a school that has my major of Communications. And I'm looking for fans and everything surrounding it."

Illinois needs defensive ends this recruiting class, and Smoot has excellent potential as a future college defender.

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