Indiana OT Bryce Bailey has three on top

Indiana offensive tackle Bryce Bailey discusses Illini visit, trimmed-down list of schools

Bryce Bailey is whittling down his list and taking a tour of summer camps to help him make a final decision.

"Right now, it's looking like Illinois, Indiana, Vanderbilt," Bailey said. "Northwestern hasn't offered, but they're interested too."

The Newburgh (Ind.) Castle three-star offensive tackle visited Vanderilt a week ago. This past weekend, he visited Indiana and received a scholarship offer from the in-state program.

"It was important to finally get that in-state offer and to feel that trust from the coaching staff to believe in me, the home-state, in-state guy," Bailey said. On Sunday, Bailey camped with Illinois, which has prioritized him through two coaching staffs. Bailey was one of the first Bill Cubit recruits whose offer was reaffirmed by Lovie Smith's staff.

"I got offered by the previous staff, and then the new staff came in and they offered," Bailey said. "It's been awesome to get to know these guys and get to see the facilities and everything. I love them. They're awesome. They're really good guys, and it's just good to be able to build that relationship with Coach (Luke) Butkus. I've been up here a couple times now.

Bailey was a bit shocked when Illinois hired Smith, the long-time NFL head coach.

"It was crazy," Bailey said. "All my friends were like, 'go meet Lovie Smith!' I was like, 'Yeah, it's pretty crazy.' It was awesome to get to meet him."

What's Bailey looking for in his future school and football program?

"I'm looking for a strong academic program and obviously a competitive football program," Bailey said. "That's very important as well. I think all those schools have both of those."

Bailey hasn't settled on a decision date yet.

"I've just heard that when the time is right, you just know it," Bailey said. "So that's what I'm waiting for."

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