Jeremy Werner

Peoria guard Jeff Scott takes an official visit to Illinois

Looking to land first FBS scholarship offer, Peoria guard Jeff Scott takes a visit to Illinois

CHAMPAIGN - Peoria guard Jeff Scott remembers making the short drive to Memorial Stadium to watch Illinois football about a decade ago.

"I came to a game when I was eight," said Scott, now a 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior offensive lineman. "And I was like, 'It'd be nice to go here, Dad.' Ever since, my dad's been a big Illini fan. It's just a nice opportunity to be here."

Scott is working toward a possible opportunity to wear the orange and blue. Scott took an unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday to watch the Illini's nail-biting 27-25 win over Middle Tennessee State.

"It's like an electric experience," Scott said. "It feels good just to be around all the energy."

Scott just received a scholarship offer from Valparaiso, his third scholarship offer from an FCS program, joining Alabama State and Tennessee State. Others FCS programs showing interest include Illinois State and Western Illinois.

"It's crazy right now," Scott said. "I'm getting a whole bunch of letters and a lot of interest from a lot of schools."

FBS programs, like Toledo and Miami (Ohio), are showing interest -- as are Big Ten programs, like Illinois and Indiana.

"I think I'm going to get (a scholarship offer) from Indiana or here (Illinois) next," Scott said. "If I get an offer from Illinois or an FBS school, (my recruitment) will definitely blow up."

The Illini are monitoring Scott's progress with defensive line coach Mike Phair as his lead recruiter. So far, Scott has put together pretty impressive film while leading the Lions to a 5-0 record.

While Scott doesn't have ideal height, he is strong and has shown the quickness to play in the Illini's zone-blocking scheme.

"I play nasty," Scott said. "But I'm the type of guy who will knock you down and pick you up for the next play and do it all over again."

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