Hylton's Camp Performance Nets Illinois Offer

Julian Hylton plays all over the field for Lincoln Way North, but on Saturday, he worked out as a DB at Illinois, and his performance earned him an offer at the end.

Lincoln Way North's Julian Hylton is undoubtedly a talented athlete. The 6'-1" Hylton has exceptional speed and is a lean 190 pounds. And while Hylton has collected several other smaller offers, Saturday marked his first BCS conference offer from in-state school Illinois.

"I was excited," he said. "I'm just happy that they decided to offer me. I've put in a lot of hard work, and it's great to know that it paid off."

Hylton definitely had to earn it. On more than one occasion, Hylton got matched up against Illinois commit Mike Dudek, who was catching passes from another Illinois commit Chayce Crouch.

"It was a great experience, especially against Mike," he said. "He's very shifty and quick. It was interesting guarding him because he's tricky, but now I know what it's like to guard a division one wide receiver."

He continued, "It was a good matchup for me. HIs agility to cut and break was good for me too, because I can break on cuts well too."

Hylton feels like he's improved a lot over the past year and offseason. Being coachable has made Hylton a better player all-around and he is putting what he learns into practice.

"I just went to camps and have been listening to what coaches have said," he said. "I pick up little things different DB coaches have told me. I can put it all together and it will help my team when we go for a state championship."

Speaking to Hylton's versatility, he doesn't really have a definite position yet. He's all over the field for his high school, and rather than see that as keeping him from perfecting one position, he thinks mixing it up helps him understand both sides of the ball better.

"I think I can play any position of I work at it," he said. I play receiver, DB, running back. Corner is just another position to me. That versatility definitely helps me out. I can play wherever the coach throws me in at. It helps the team and I can also know what the receiver is going to do if I'm playing DB."

Hylton, whose previous offer list included North Dakota, South Dakota, West Point, Colgate Fordham, Yale, and Illinois State, felt great when receiving the Illinois offer. He had high praise for the staff.

"It's pretty good," he said. "The coaching staff at Illinois is great. Coach Beckman and Coach Banks are definitely great coaches. I learned a lot from Coach Banks and Coach Beckman. He watched me and saw something in me and I'm happy about that."

And with the constant emphasis Beckman and his staff place on recruiting within the Illinois borders, Hylton also sees the importance of loyalty to his home state.

"It feels good," he said. "It's the home state. You gotta love it. There's pride in it. I grew up watching Illinois play football. It's great knowing I got an offer from the school I grew up watching."

The Illinois visit may not be his last. Hylton is still hearing from several schools. And throughout the whole process, his parents have been with him each step of the way.

"I've still been hearing from other Big Ten schools and I'm working on setting up a couple other visits with my parents," he said. "They teach me how valuable hard work is and how important it is."

Hylton is still feeling his way through the recruiting process, but he does know what he wants in a school. And with some of the schools on his list, it's no surprise that he puts a priority on the classroom.

"Education is the first thing," he said definitively. "Coaching staff and the camaraderie between the players in the locker room are important too. I have a good relationship with both Coach Ward, who was my recruiting coach, and Coach Salem, who was originally my position recruiting coach since I was originally recruited as a running back."

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