CHAMPAIGN - Ohio running back Ra'Von Bonner didn't mince words. He really, really liked his unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday.
"The greatest visit, hands down," Bonner said.
Bonner took a tour of campus and watched the Illini demolish FCS opponent Murray State 52-3 -- and amass 287 yards on the ground.
"The crowd was very into it," Bonner said. "It was very noisy and I know that it will be rocking next week. And I love the zone running
"The campus is perfect with the way that it's set up. Dorms are right in the middle of the campus. Everything is so close together."
Bonner -- a 6-foot, 210-pound running back ran for 1,429 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior and also hauled in 20 catches for 267 yards -- also spent time with a few of Illinois' Class of 2017 commits, including quarterback Cam Thomas and offensive lineman Larry Boyd.
"They were all happy to see me," Bonner said. "I'm actually texting some commitments right now. They are asking me to commit."
Though Illini commit Kendall Smith wasn't at the game, he's also recruiting Bonner.
"Kendall Smith is recruiting me more than anyone and Cameron Thomas," Bonner said. "And Big Larry. He's just as big as any college lineman. He's a four-year starter."
http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/story/1698954-illini-football-recr... Boyd, a 6-foot-5, 330-pound mauler, could be a running back's best friend.
"He's my best friend now," Bonner said.
With St. Thomas Aquinas back Mike Epstein already committed, Illinois will only take one more running back in the Class of 2017.
Bonner -- who received an Illinois offer last month and also has offers from Cincinnati and several MAC programs, including Toledo and Western Michigan -- seems to have the combination of size and speed the Illini desire.
Illinois also seems to have a lot of what Bonner desires.
"Illinois is the clear top option whether other schools offer or not," Bonner said. "They told me I'm a lot bigger than what they had thought and they love it."
Bonner liked his Illinois visit so much, he plans on coming back to Champaign -- very soon.
"I'm going to get closer to (Illini running backs coach Thad) Ward and visit again next weekend (for the North Carolina game)," he said.null