Chicago (IL) Marist LB Micah Awodiran is a priority in-state recruit for Illinois in the class of 2017, and he made his second trip of the spring down to Champaign to see Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith in action at the Illini's open spring practice this weekend.
"The visit was solid," Awodiran said. "It was a great experience."
Prior to the visit, Awodiran admitted that he wasn't sure how he'd react to meeting Lovie Smith in person and getting to talk to him. After the initial shock of meeting a coach who he'd long looked up to, he said the two had a great conversation.
"I couldn't speak for a little," Awodiran said, laughing, "but he made me feel comfortable."
Unlike Awodiran's past visits, this one was more focused on building relationships with the new coaches who have only had the last couple months to recruit him.
"I really got to know the new coaching staff," he said. "I had a chance to get acquainted with a staff that boasts a lot of great additions.
Awodiran isn't planning on deciding in the immediate future, but he did say that the visit did put Illinois in a good spot among his top schools heading into the summer.
"(Illinois) definitely have put themselves high on my list with this visit," he said. "I'll probably decide toward the end of summer. I want to have it all squared away so I can focus on going back to state with my brothers."
Awodiran also got to spend time with new Illinois Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Hardy Nickerson. Awodiran felt that the two connected well for their first face-to-face meeting.
"Yeah we sat down for longer than Coach (Lovie) Smith and me did," he said. "We talked ball and background for a good amount of time. I think we clicked. At least that's my feeling coming away from the time spent with him"