Vederian Lowe's strength always has been his size. But it's also been his weakness.
Lowe tipped the scales at more than 360 pounds just a few months ago. That weight on his 6-foot-4 frame gave him the strength to be a power-five prospect, but that weight also slowed him down in the process of reaching his great potential.
Lowe's leaning up though -- he's now at 334 pounds -- and he's starting to show more consistent flashes of his high ceiling.
"I'm trying to get as light as I can," Lowe said. "It definitely feels different. I guess you can always feel when you're a little bit lighter, a little bit more athletic."
The Rockford (Ill.) Auburn offensive lineman looked strong, long (85-inch wingspan), quick and dominant at Saturday's Illini satellite camp in Barrington (watch the video above).
"I thought I did a good job," Lowe said. "I had to come in and show the new coaches what I could do. I think I showed up pretty well."
"Those are very good defensive ends," Lowe said. "You're going to see some quick, powerful defensive ends in college, so it was good to see them. I think I did pretty well against them."
Illinois coach Lovie Smith took time to talk with Lowe after the camp.
"He told me I did a good job," Lowe said. "He wants me to come to the Big Man camp (on Sunday, June 12), so I might show my face down there."
Lowe had received an offer from the previous staff, and the Smith's staff has continued to make him feel like an Illini priority.
"Illinois has stuck with me through three head coaches," Lowe said. "A lot of coaches would've taken your scholarship away. That means a lot to me."
Lowe said he wiIl attend the Missouri camp this Wednesday. The Tigers and Northern Illinois are recruiting him hard.
"It's good," Lowe said. "I get a couple coaches hitting me up on Twitter. (Illinois offensive line coach Luke) Butkus has been the main one hitting me up on Twitter. I got to get back to him every time he hits me back."
So where's Illinois stand with Lowe?
"Illinois is recruiting me the hardest," Lowe said. "That's where my heart's at. That's the home state, the home team. You can't ever shut them out."