John Mitchell didn't participate in Friday's Illinois satellite camp at Gately Stadium on the Chicago's south side, but the Crete-Monee (Ill.) defensive tackle took the short drive north to take in the competition and catch up with the Illini coaching staff.
"It's good," Mitchell said. "I hadn't seen them in a minute, so it's a good chance to see them again."
Mitchell's recruitment has been pretty quiet recently. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle holds offers from Illinois, Syracuse and several MAC programs. Mitchell said he doesn't plan on visiting any camps this summer but said Missouri, Penn State and Ball State are a few of the schools who have shown interest lately.
"I'm still looking," Mitchell said. "I'm still planning on checking out the other schools and stuff and still weighing all my options and letting everything happen."
One of the recent constants in Mitchell's recruitment, though, has been Illinois. The big and quick lineman projects as a three-technique at the next level and is pretty high on Illinois' board.
"I mean, they want me," Mitchell said. "Just basically that they'd love to have me on campus and love to have me on the team. I think it's good. I think they're really on the come up. The new coaching staff, I think that's a big plus."
Mitchell's teammate, defensive back Juawan Treadwell, also is an Illini priority. Mitchell said he and Treadwell talk recruiting a lot but aren't necessarily a packaged deal.
"It's still our own decisions," Mitchell said. "We'll sit down and talk about something, but at the same time, we still are deciding on our own what we want to do and what we like."
Mitchell wasn't the only prospect simply watching from the sideline on Friday. Illini commits Ricky Smalling and Cam Thomas -- two of the three in-state players to commit to Lovie during the last two months -- patrolled the sidelines as well.
"Yeah," Mitchell said with a smile. "It's good. Ricky, I grew up around him. I'm glad he got a chance to play at the next level. The other guys, I don't really know them, but congrats to them."