Even after Reggie Roberson committed to Kansas in May, the Texas wide receiver continued to hear from Illinois coaches -- often.
That persistence has paid off for the Illini as Roberson locked in an official visit to Illinois on Oct. 7-9.
“I talked to Coach Stoker and Coach Lovie Smith,” Roberson told Illini Inquirer on Wednesday. “I told them I always hear from them and respect them. I told them I’d come down and take an official visit.
“They’ve always talked to me even when I committed. They didn’t stop talking to me. They always stayed strong and stayed truthful with me. They really just have been honest with me and loved the way I play.”
Roberson has been a priority for Illini receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker since the spring. Roberson, who recently was elevated to a three-star prospect by Scout, has the game-breaking speed the Illini sorely need. He fits well as a slot receiver and also projects as a dangerous punt and kick returner.
Stoker, who was wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-15, seems to have the credentials and demeanor that Roberson desires in his position coach.
“I just love him,” Roberson said. “He’s cool. He just kind of stays up on stuff, talks to me and I really like him as a coach and I respect him a lot more than other coaches out here. I just feel like he’s always been 100 (percent honest) with me. He doesn’t tell me I’m going to come in and start right away. He said I can play right away, but that it’s on me to keep that position and play well enough to start. A lot of coaches will tell you, ‘Oh, you’ll catch 300 passes.’ That’s dishonest. I like that Coach Stoker is always honest with me.”
Roberson said he’s also receiving interest from Indiana, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Texas State and ECU but said he isn’t actively searching for other programs
“Illinois is my first visit,” Roberson said. “I haven’t really talked to a lot of people. If I have interest and you contact me, I’ll take a visit. But Illinois is my first visit on my list.”
Roberson said he hasn’t talked to the Kansas coaching staff about taking other visits. But the Illini coaches are happy to get him on campus and hope they can convince him to change his college plans.
“I’m just ready, excited,” Roberson said. “If everything goes well, then I’ll consider making a change. I just want to go see how I fit and see how my recruiting goes and see if Illinois is where I want to be.”