Illinois hosted several big prospects, including several top 2017 recruits. One of the in-state prospects that made the trip to Champaign was 2017 St. Charles (IL) North offensive tackle Isaac Hawn.
Hawn has seen Champaign before, and this trip was more about growing his familiarity with the program and the staff.
"It's not my first time, but it's my first time at a game," Hawn said. "I just want to get some of the questions I have answered, to meet the coaches and get to know them a little better, and just experience it right now."
Hawn has seen parts of the Illinois campus, but this past weekend, his focus was on the football program. Academics are important, but Hawn stressed that the football program will be the foremost factor in his decision.
"I mostly got to see the academic life here (before)," he said. "I've done recruiting picnics before and stuff like that. I'm looking for football, but academics obviously matter, too, and I'm looking for a good academic school."
The junior offensive lineman holds just one offer at this point, but says he is hearing from several other FBS programs and feels as though the offers may come more frequently before too long.
"Virginia, Northwestern, Louisville, Toledo, Indiana, and Michigan State talk to me a lot," he said. "I have an offer from Illinois State at this point. I might be close to some other offers but I can't say for sure."
Following his Illinois visit, Hawn has plans to see a few more schools this fall, including an early favorite of his closer to home.
"I plan on getting out on some visits over the next couple weekends," he said. "I'm looking forward to Northwestern. That's probably my number one school right now. I may also visit Indiana."
The excitement of the Illinois game did stand out to Hawn, who had praise for the Illini after they pulled out the last-minute win over the Huskers.
"I knew at the beginning it would be a tough game," Hawn said. "I thought the defense hung in there and made plays throughout the game. The offense delivered when it needed to. It was an overall battle, and Illinois performed very well, especially when the pressure went up."