Caleb Jones knew little about Illinois football just a few months ago.
"Not at all, not at all," Jones said.
Then the Illini hired Lovie Smith.
"That's just the sort of effect Lovie has, I guess," Jones said." "They just recently started recruiting me. How can you not like them with a coaching staff that they have? I like 'em a lot."
Jones took an unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday and met with the Illini coaches afterward. The Illini's interest in the Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North product could soon go to another level.
Jones currently has offers from Indiana, Purdue and several MAC programs. The in-state Big Ten programs extended offers last year, so Illinois likely has some ground to make up in the recruitment.
"They've shown a lot of love," Jones said. "IU being the first school to offer me, they definitely hold a special place."
Jones stood out among all of Saturday's visitors to Illinois' open spring practice -- literally. The 6-foot-9, 330-pound offensive lineman is a mountain of a man.
"I know how to use my size to the best of my ability," Jones said. "You don't see a lot of people out there like me. I know how to use it."
What's next for Jones?
"Just work to have a great senior season, go to some camps," Jones said. "Just do what I have to do for when I do eventually make the change over to college."