"The visit was great!" Epstein said. "I felt a lot of love at Illinois."
Epstein set up his Illinois visit prior to the public commitment of Thieman. The two are close, and Epstein likes the idea of them playing together in college, but said he will still make his own decision in the end.
"I'm really happy for Dom," he said. "I don't think it will have a real influence (on my decision). But it would be cool to play with him at the next level."
Epstein came away from his trip with several positive things to say about the Illinois program. Up until now, he had only examined Illinois from afar, but after seeing everything in person, it changed his perspective a lot.
"I really like the coaches," he said. "Both Cubits are great. They have great facilities and a real nice campus. Plus it's big time football."
The staff also spoke with Epstein about how he would be used in the offense, and he admittedly liked the notion of being versatile out of the backfield.
"Coach Cubit went over how they love versatile backs and told me that is what they see in me," he said. "They want a back that can both run the ball and can catch out of the backfield and make big plays.