Kywan Smith has one scholarship offer, so the Miami (Fla.) Central running back spent the weekend checking out his top college football option.
"It was good," Smith said following a three-day unofficial visit. "It was a new experience. It was cool because all of us got the same vibe. We had a good time with Coach Lovie. (The relationship with Illinois is) very strong. I like the coaching staff."
Smith toured the campus, visited with other recruiting targets and commits at Thursday's barbecue and spent a lot of time with the staff.
What stuck out about the visit?
http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/story/1691098-illini-make-their-pi... "How everybody bonded the same," Smith said. "It's one big family up there. What caught my attention is how everybody is on the same page and trying to be one big family."
Smith, who also has interest from Central Florida and South Florida, met with running backs coach Thad Ward, his main recruiter.
"Basically, he just gave me a run down of the program and how things run for the program," Smith said. "He said he likes my style of running. He likes how I run the ball and how I'm explosive."
He also met with Illini head coach Lovie Smith for the first time.
"He's a great dude," Kywan Smith said. "He don't yell. He's got the same pace. All of the days we were down there, I never heard him yell. He's a calm guy. That's the first coach that ever acted like that. That's a good difference because I never had a coach like that."
http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/story/1691058-wr-green-close-decis... Smith made the trip with two Miami Central teammates who also hold Illini offers, defensive end Owen Carney and wide receiver Carmoni Green. Smith said the three talked seriously about playing at Illinois together.
"Every time we left the campus, we talked about (playing together)," Smith said. "We talk about how we can come up and change the program in a positive way, make plays and win games."
Smith said that he will now focus on the high school season with a goal of rushing for 1,500 rushing yards, but it's safe to say that the Illini currently are in a good place for Smith if they want to make a push for him.