Commitment Set in Stone

JUCO WR Tyrin Stone-Davis gave himself a bit of an early birthday present with a commitment to Illinois on Tuesday. See just what it was that drew him to Illinois.

July 26th is already an important day to the latest Illinois commit Tyrin Stone-Davis. But now he can add July 23rd as an equally significant day in his life. He thought about giving himself a birthday present, but he was too excited to wait.

"I should have (committed on my birthday)," he said. "I was too excited. I wasn't even thinking!"

Aside from the Illinois coaches, the words of a former junior college teammate at LA Pierce College also was a big reason Stone-Davis felt comfortable with Illinois.

"I spoke to TK (Trevor Kanteman) twice about Illinois," he said. "He gave me great information about the school beyond football. In terms of education and graduation rate, they're the 8th ranked school in the nation, 23rd in the world. Basically things I didn't know before."

But Illinois coaches did play a big role in Stone-Davis's commitment. One in particular who has been hitting the recruiting trail hard on the west coast is receivers coach Mike Bellamy.

"Also Coach Mike Bellamy is a good dude," he said. "Throughout the recruitment process he was always honest and straight forward. Coach Bellamy was too excited when I told him I committed. He was pumped."

After breaking the news to his future position coach, Stone-Davis then got to tell Illinois head coach Tim Beckman the news, too. And the news made Coach Beckman very happy.

"I also talked to Coach Beckman," he said. "The coaches were at a fundraiser at Illinois and the word got around that I committed and everyone was hype. He said he's excited to be my coach and told me 'Welcome to the family!'."

One of the most appealing things to Stone-Davis about Illinois was the direction in which the offense is heading. With a new offensive coordinator, a stable full of quarterbacks with lots of potential, and plenty of time to get ready, Stone-Davis is already excited.

"They have a new OC now so the new offense was definitely one of the big reasons," he said. "Also with Wes Lunt, it would be an honor to be one of his receivers. We haven't met yet, but when we do the first thing I'm going to do is talk about the playbook. Plus, they have Aaron Bailey, who was the number four quarterback in the nation. Coach Bellamy told me I'd be a great fit with my size and my speed. I'm what they're looking for at the X (receiver) position."

Stone-Davis has always had a chip on his shoulder. Making it out of Philadelphia was a big accomplishment for him, but making his commitment to Illinois was a big moment for him.

"Really it was the love from the coaching staff," he said. "I didn't care what city or state I play in as long as I felt wanted, and they really wanted me. Also, growing up near Philly, people hated on my two brothers Tre and Tyree and me a lot because we really wanted to chase a dream. I felt like I had nothing to lose by going to Illinois, and it means more with us making it out of Philly."

Stone-Davis's twin brother Tyree Stone-Davis, who also has an offer from Illinois, is someone Tyrin would love to bring with him.

"I really don't know (if he'll pick Illinois too). I honestly don't," he said. "I obviously want him to. He's my twin brother and best friend and we've never been split up before."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories