Growing up just outside of Houston, Richmond (Texas) Foster wide receiver Evan Fairs is accustomed to the “city life.”
So he was a bit skeptical of of whether east central Illinois could offer the hustle and bustle he enjoys.
Fairs, a former Maryland commit who reopened his recruitment earlier this month, came away pleasantly surprised following an official visit to the University of Illinois last weekend.
“It went great,” Fairs said. “It was way better than I expected because I didn’t know a lot about the city of Champaign. I got to find out a lot of good things, and I got to see the university. The only real questions I had were about the university, and I pretty much enjoyed it.”
“I feel like it’s a good college town. They don’t have any NBA teams or NFL teams around there so when the University of Illinois has games, I feel like the whole city comes out to watch them because they don’t have any other sport around you get to watch.”
The visit also allowed Fairs, who had been recruited exclusively by Illini wide receivers coach Mike Bellamy to that point, to meet some of the new Illini coaches, whom he called "cool."
Fairs has received other offers recently, including Tulane, Louisiana Lafayette and Bowling Green, but said Illinois is one of just two schools he’s considering, along with Kansas. Coaches from both programs visited him this week.
He will take an official visit to Lawrence and Jan. 29.
“They answered all my questions, so the only thing left for me is to see the campus,” Fairs said of Kansas. “I feel like they seemed like a good fit. They run the right offense. I like the coaches too. They’re fun to hang out with. I like the coaches. ...They talked to my parents and they liked them too. So I’m going to head there and see how that goes.”
Fairs said neither team is the leader right now and that he will make a Signing Day decision.
"Fairs is a tall, long receiver with great frame potential as he projects to the college level. Possesses good height with high potential for significant bulk addition. Long-armed receiver with big catch radius. Good initial burst after catch for a long-striding runner. Not a top-end speed guy, but shows big-play ability thanks to size and ball skills. Legit red-zone threat. Can improve on initial quickness at LOS."
- Gabe Brooks, Scout.com' Texas recruiting analyst