"I would love that. I'd love to be an Illini. It's always been a dream ever since I was a little kid.
"It's close to home, but at the same time it's far away from home. It has nice facilities, a nice campus, sellout crowds. It's big-time football."
The Alton native made a good impression as a wide receiver at last year's Edwardsville summer camp, although his speed wasn't ideal. He has worked hard to improve his athleticism, and it paid off at this year's Illini summer camp in Edwardsville.
McLemore ran a 4.51 forty, and his shuttle time was 4.22. Those are quality times for a 6'-1.5", 193 pounder.
"Yes sir. I've been going to this place in Chesterfield called Velocity Sports Performance, and they've helped me out a lot."
Of course, getting in top shape and learning proper running technique helps improve times but may or may not improve performance during games. Illini coaches know McLemore would likely commit if offered, so they worked him at defensive back to make sure they weren't overlooking anything.
"I liked it a lot. I've played linebacker for my school. I never thought I'd actually get recruited for linebacker, but I like it. I think they're looking at me as a strong safety, the Star position. I'm actually playing db for my school this year."
To date, McLemore has fallen into the "maybe" category for several schools. He is doing everything he can to gain exposure and earn a scholarship offer.
"I've been going to camps all over the place."
Illinois changed coaching staffs after last year. Has that had an adverse effect on his exposure with the state school?
"I think it has, but at the same time, as long as I keep going to camps, I should be all right."
He certainly seemed to enjoy himself at the June Illini camp.
"I liked it a lot. I liked the one-on-one with the coaches. I got some positive feedback. Even before, I was in contact with them."
McLemore should be able to earn a college scholarship somewhere, but to date none have been offered to him. Several schools are keeping in touch though.
"I've heard from Purdue, Carbondale, Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri State and Illinois."
McLemore will hang in there. Perhaps his senior highlight tapes will turn the tide in his favor.