Spears Has Clear Leader

West Aurora (IL) defender Drake Spears says one school stands out above the rest. Get the latest with the 2016 S/LB.

Drake Spears was one of the more well-known onlookers at Sunday’s Illinois satellite camp at Lincoln-Way East. With an offer already in hand, he still felt it was important to attend and back his teammates who participated in the event.

"It’s very important (to support them),” Spears said. "We preach leadership at my school, and I’m trying to be a leader and support them however I can."

Spears had a relatively quiet spring when it came to recruiting. But he isn’t dwelling too much on it and is grateful to have numerous opportunities to play D1 college football.

"I’m not really sure (why things are quiet),” he said. "But I’m blessed to have what I have. New Mexico, UConn, and Central Michigan are my most recent offers, though."

Right now, one school clearly stands above the rest for Spears. The in-state Illini were the first to offer, and Spears hasn’t forgotten that.

"Illinois is my number one school right now,” Spears said. "I’m very close with them. I talk to them every week. Sometimes every other day. The relationship is very good with U of I."

As far as a decision, though, Spears is trying to keep that close to the vest.

"It’ll be when the time feels right,” he said. "I haven’t set a date yet."

Spears is visiting Illinois this Friday (June 12th), and this time, he’s bringing another important recruit, his mother, with him.

"This time I’m bringing my mom,” he said. "I want her to get a feeling for the school and see if she really likes it."

Distance isn’t a big factor for Spears, but admits having family at his games would be nice. But over time, Spears has learned through the recruiting process and is evaluating schools in different ways than he once did.

"(Distance matters) somewhat,” Spears admitted. "That way they can come to the games more, but it isn’t overly important. I put a lot more on the feel with the coaches. If i really like the coaches that means a lot more. That and the academic programs and things like that."

And Illinois has been strong in both of those areas. The relationship has stayed strong, and Spears has faith in the staff to improve yet again this year.

"Just a feel for the coaches at Illinois,” he said. "I love the coaching staff there. I feel like they’re going to do big things this year. The relationship is very good right now."

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