"My family and I went up yesterday, stayed the night, and then we hung out some here today," he said. "It was great. I was really glad to be back."
Howe visited during the season for a game, but this visit allowed him to spend a lot more time getting to know the players and coaches and truly get a feel for the program.
"I got to spend more one-on-one time with the coaches," he said. "Particularly Coach Colby and Coach Beckman. I was able to get to know Coach Colby more by sitting in during the defensive line meetings and just talking during down time."
He continued, "Also I was able to have a meeting with Coach Beckman in his office. It was nice getting to know him on a personal level too and find out what all he's about outside of football as well."
Illinois has done their best to differentiate themselves from other schools. Howe noted a few things that really stood out about the Illini.
"One thing all of the coaches preached and live out is how Illinois Football is a family," he said. "I really like that about them. Coach Beckman wants to establish relationships for life and not just for 4 or 5 years. I respect that and want to be a part of something like that."