Josh Newman made a quick trip from Texas to Champaign on Saturday to check out the Illinois campus.
Illinois was the first to extend a scholarship offer to the Cedar Hill (Texas) safety and remain his only power five offer, so he wanted to check out his top option.
"It's my number one now, really," Newman said. "I just wanted to check it out and see how it is and see if I liked it."
Illinois offered Newman after he shined at the Illini's satellite camp in Dallas in June, including a 4.54-second 40-yard dash. Newman detailed what he saw and did during his visit.
"It was good," Newman said. "I enjoyed it. I got there and they were going through walk-through. They were on the game field and going through walk-throughs and stuff and I was watching them go through their stuff. Then Coach (Lovie) Smith, he took me and he kind of showed me around a bit. Then we went into his office and talked in there."
Newman said he talked with the Illini head coach for about ten minutes and asked him "questions about life and family."
Newman said "nothing really" else is happening in recruiting. He has an offer from Texas State but said "it's not the same stuff Illinois is doing" and that Illinois is "showing more love."
"It means a lot because it just shows you how much they want you and how they're trying to build the relationship with you," Newman said.
Illinois is looking for a hard-hitting safety with speed to add to the defensive backfield. Newman seems to fit the bill.
"They said they offered me first because of my size and Coach Smith said he's looking for speed because they think if they can get speed they can coach me up and get me right and develop me," Newman said.
Newman is at a crossroads in his recruitment. Will he decide to end it early or play through his senior season to explore his options?
"I'm just going to try to get home to think about it for a couple days to see if I want to make a decision instead of just waiting it out," Newman said. "I want to wrap it up so I can focus more on the season and everything else. But at the same time, I kind of want to see what else could come."