Montgomery (Ala.) Jefferson Davis offensive lineman Preston Mixon had a simple way of settling on his top-five list.
"I'm basically doing my top-five based off relationships I have with the coaching staff," Mixon told IlliniInquirer.com.
Mixon released his top-five list on Twitter on Sunday: Illinois, Cincinnati, Nevada, Memphis and Florida Atlantic.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive tackle plans on taking official visits to all five schools this fall, likely in November, and make a decision soon after.
Mixon broke down his thoughts on each school.
Nevada: "Nevada, it's a lot closer to my home. I'm originally from San Francisco, California. That's where a lot of my family is. It'd be a good fit to allow to watch all of my family be able to watch some of my games."
Cincinnati: "(Offensive line) coach JB Grimes. I've been following him since he went to Auburn. I went to a camp, and ever since then, we've had a good relationship."
Memphis: "Memphis, I went up there not too long ago on a visit, and I really liked what they had to offer. I really like the program."
Florida Atlantic: "I talked to their coaches just about every day. That's exactly what I'm looking for."
Illinois: "I talk to Coach (Garrick) McGee and Coach (Luke) Butkus a lot. I had to throw them in my top-five. I plan on taking my official up there and getting to know them a lot more. That's what I'm looking for in a college, relationships and being able to get my education."
Illinois is the only power-five offer on his list, but Mixon said that won't be a huge factor in his decision.
"Big Ten, SEC and all that stuff, that really doesn't matter," Mixon said. "I just want to go somewhere and play and get my education. Basically, I want to play in the NFL. But as long as I do what I want to do at the next level, the NFL is going to come to me."
http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/story/1687013-illini-recruiting-bi... Illini offensive coordinator Garrick McGee -- the former head coach at UAB -- has prioritized the state of Alabama, especially Montgomery, in his first few months at Illinois. Illinois has offered two more of Mixon's teammates, three-star defensive lineman Alec Jackson and defensive back Zyon Gilbert -- who both visited Illinois this summer.
"They're pretty good with recruiting," Mixon said. "They offered a few of my teammates, so that would be good. It'd be just like playing high school. They said they really liked (the visit to Illinois). So, stay tuned."
Mixon reiterated what he's looking for in his college.
"Relationships," Mixon said. "I want to go some place that is like my high school. At my high school, I can talk to my coaches like they're my dad. These top-five schools I have, they're the exact same way."