Everything felt right, so much so that it started to set in for the offensive lineman from Indianapolis (Bishop Chatard) that he's now a part of the Illinois family.
"You kind of get to see it in a different perspective and get a different sense of what Illinois is once you're committed," he said. "This is where I'm going to be the next four or five years of my life. That's something I'm really excited about."
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound 2015 prospect picked up offers from the likes of Purdue, Syracuse and Duke, but says he's respectfully informed every program expressing interest that his mind is made up. It was the people — specifically Coach Tim Beckman and o-line coach A.J. Ricker — that made the decision to choose the Illini an easy call.
"A big thing I emphasize in my life is faith and family. That's something that Coach Beckman emphasizes as well. That's why I thought it was such a great fit," Solomon said.
An earlier recruiting victory helped the Illini win Solomon over, too. Four-star lineman Gabe Megginson (Jacksonville, Ill.) committed earlier this spring, serving notice to guys like Solomon and others in the class.
"Gabe could have gone anywhere in the country and I knew that he wasn't the only one that saw something special," Solomon said. "I was on board from the beginning."
Megginson helped recruit Solomon. Those two helped reel in Zeke Martin, who pledged last week. Now all three players are in hot pursuit of another top target.
"I've been talking to Quinn Oseland," he said. "We're trying to get him. That would be a big step for us. I've been in contact with him and trying to get him to come here as well. I think it would be great if he did."
Going from recruited to recruiter was a simple transition for Solomon. It's easy for him, he says, because he just tells the truth.
"I emphasize what I love about the school and I try to relate back to Oseland and how he feels about it," Solomon said. "I try to give him a perspective from somebody who is committed here already about what a great school it is, how great the people are and how great of coaches are here. They're going to help us through this whole thing and it's like family here. There's something special here, so I've got to emphasize that and make sure that he's seeing that."
The trip over this weekend only reaffirmed that Solomon is headed to the right place to play in college. Ricker hasn't changed his stance one bit — Illinois needs guys like Solomon. Solomon, in turn, feels like he needs to be at Illinois.
"Coach Ricker still emphasizes how much they need us here and still emphasize how they feel about us and the players that we are," Solomon said. "They still care about us, but at the same time we feel more a part of the family now. They're welcoming us in."