Tommy Mister was pleased his state school offered him a scholarship prior to his junior year at Oak Lawn Richards.
"I'm excited. They were my second offer; I expected them to be my first, but it felt good to be the second. I'm just grateful that they offered me a scholarship to play quarterback. I really love the school. I'm speechless about it."
Mister was on the UI campus two weekends in a row. He attended the Nike camp June 3, and he returned for the Illini'S Friday Night Lights June 8. He shared his experiences at the Illini camp.
"The camp was awesome; I had fun. The receivers were great, the other quarterbacks were great. The coaches were awesome. I had an all-around fun time."
The 6'-0", 182 pounder is a playmaker who is a double threat at quarterback. His throwing still needs refinement, but he has potential. He is also willing to try other positions if quarterback doesn't work out.
"I can also play a little bit of slot and outside receiver, kick returner and punt returner, anything to get the ball in my hands and make plays.
"My high school coaches are thinking about having me to do kick return and punt return. If you watch me on the field or on game tape, when the ball is in my hands, good things happen."
Still, quarterback is his primary position for the Bulldogs. Rewards have already come his way.
"I started on varsity as a sophomore. I made all-conference. I'm actually a pre-All-American. I meet with Tom Lemming soon for a big dinner."
Mister has one overriding motivation for his college preference.
"I want to get in and help my team and play. I want to play right away; I don't want to wait."
Academics is important to him also.
"I want something to do with Business."
With offers from Illinois and Notre Dame, Mister will no doubt be on many college recruiting lists before much more time elapses.
"Other schools in touch include Wisconsin, NIU, Northwestern, Oregon, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State."
It sounds like Richards could compete for the Illinois Class 6-A state championship this fall.
"Our team is looking good. We've got 18 returning starters. Six of us played on varsity as sophomores. My whole line is coming back, and my entire receiving corps is coming back. We're going to make some noise in the playoffs."