Marian Catholic quarterback Cam Thomas caught the eye of many FBS programs, including several Big Ten teams, with a standout junior season.
So Thomas is starting to check out his options.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound dual-threat quarterback recently visited Minnesota, Iowa, Northwestern, Western Michigan and Central MIchigan. He continued his Big Ten tour with an unofficial visit to homestate Illinois last weekend. He plans a visit to Indiana this weekend.
"Recruiting is going well," Thomas said. "I'm just taking the process a step at a time. I understand that being a quarterback requires a more thorough evaluation, and I'm just ready to show the coaches what I've got. I plan on doing a big summer camp circuit to the Big Ten Schools in the Midwest to get more exposure."
Thomas spent a lot of time with the new Illinois coaching staff this weekend, including head coach Lovie Smith. New Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick McGee is searching for a dual-threat quarterback to eventually run his balanced offense, much like Lamar Jackson did under McGee last season at Louisville.
"I thought my visit was amazing!" Thomas said. "I got to talk to Coach Smith in his office for a long time and Coach McGee as well. I was also given a campus tour. What stood out for me is that it was the first time sitting in a coach's office and having a talk. There was a very genuine feel from the coaches that they want a change and are gonna make it. There is a new era coming for Illini football."
Thomas is one of the Illini's top quarterback options in 2017. An offer could come with a subsequent spring visit.
"They said they really liked the way I play and want to see me throw in person this spring," Thomas said.
The story seems the same for the other Big Ten programs recruiting him.
"They all have very nice facilities," Thomas said. "They all say that they need to see me throw in person before they can make a offer."
What is Thomas looking for in a program?
"I feel like I can play in any offense so that's not as big as academics and the diversity," Thomas said. "But I want to feel like the coaches care for their players on more than just an athletic standpoint. And location isn't a real issue."