With the likes of Hugh Davis, Dorion Pollard and Terrance Taylor participating, linebacker was one of the strongest groups at the Illinois football satellite camp at Chicago on Friday night. But it was a little-known name who stood out the most.
St. Rita (Ill.) Class of 2017 linebacker Marc Mondesir shined under the lights at Gately Stadium, displaying speed (4.5-4.6 40-yard dash), range, length and athleticism.
"I knew I was fast with testing and stuff like that because I've been practicing for it," Mondesir said. "Linebacker stuff, it was a little new to me so I still have to work on some technique and stuff like that, but overall it felt good. I wish I could have gotten a few more reps in on some things because it was real competitive out here, but overall it felt good."
Mondesir played defensive line his first few years of high school but is making the transition to linebacker and is even playing some safety, two roles he could fill at the next level.
"It's hard, just a lot of different ways that I move," Mondesir said. "But I got my teammates helping me out and stuff with positions, helping me get my hips loose and stuff like that just to become a better athlete."
Mondesir caught the eye of the Illini staff throughout the night. Illini head coach Lovie Smith even pulled him aside to chat one-on-one during the camp.
"It was crazy, especially with Lovie Smith," Mondesire said. "I'm used to watching him on TV all the time. So it's just like, 'Woah!' He's right in front of your face now. He just wanted to get to know me more, about my grades and stuff like that. He said he really liked the way I moved and the way I played."
Mondesir hasn't received a lot of recruiting interest yet, but expect that to change.
"I don't really have any offers yet," Mondesir said. "But I got some strong interest from Wyoming, North Dakota and stuff like that, but no offers yet."
Illinois may start calling more too.
"I'm excited about that," Mondesir said. "I've loved the school since I was a little kid. I've always just liked the University of Illinois. I'm happy they're interested in me, and I'm happy I got to impress them and the other coaches here."