Visit to Illini 'pretty big' for St. Louis athlete Tony Adams

St. Louis athlete Tony Adams discusses mid-week visit to Illini, future recruiting plans

Tony Adams had visited the Illinois campus twice as a junior: once for a junior day and once for a football game.

But his Wednesday unofficial visit to the Illini football offices was a bit more personal and a bit more meaningful.

"It was a learning process," said Adams, who received an Illini offer earlier this month at the Illini's St. Louis satellite camp. "I learned some new things you can't really see in camp. But sitting down one-on-one, you learn things about them. You learn more than people. It's deeper than football. They opened my eyes to look past just football, things like that."

Adams met with all the Illini coaches -- except for head coach Lovie Smith, who was out of town -- and spent one-on-one time with secondary coach Paul Williams and wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker. Williams likely would play cornerback at Illinois, but he has the versatility to play receiver. "I sat with Coach Williams, the defensive backs coach, and we watched some film on some technique and how they like their people to press and play off-man," Adams said. "That was pretty good. Then with Coach Stoker, I went upstairs and he basically taught me some life lessons and things like that."

Adams said he "loves playing receiver, but right now with my body type, in college I'll probably be playing corner."

Adams also toured campus, met with academic counselors, toured the weight room and met with strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese.

Illinois seemed to make quite an impression.

"It was pretty big," Adams said. "My family loves Illinois. Going up there, I really liked it. I enjoyed it a lot. I learned something new about the coaches. I don't know. It could be home."

But Adams isn't yet ready to pull the trigger. He wants to visit Mizzou -- who also offered him this month after a strong camp performance -- sometime this summer, though he hasn't set a date yet. "If I pick up offers from any other power-five schools and the offers I do have, I plan on visiting them this summer as well," Adams said. "Then I'll think of narrowing it down and coming to a decision. I feel like it'll come later this summer, maybe around the first week of August. But I feel like when I make it, it's going to be the right decision. I want to be 100 percent committed. That's why I don't want to jump into the boat right now with any doubts."

What's he want in a school?

"I want coaches that are going to push me for all four years and make me a better person as well as a man," Adams said. "Then I want atmosphere. I like it a lot. You got to be alive. You got to be live for something to play for. That's what I want."

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