CHAMPAIGN - Trevor Trout planned on making his first trip to Champaign on Sept. 10 for the North Carolina game. But his ride, Illini commit Tony Adams, had to cancel the trip due to inclement weather postponing his Friday game to the following Saturday.
But Trout made it to Memorial Stadium less than two months later. The four-star St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade defensive tackle took in an unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday.
"Feels good to finally see it," Trout said. "I've heard a lot of good things about it from (Illini commit) Larry (Boyd) and Tony. I just wanted to be able to see things for myself."
Illinois has a limited number of scholarships in 2018 (possibly 12-15) and have honed in on a few select recruits with Trout near the top of that list. The top-100 prospect has double-digit power-five conference offers already, but Illinois coach Lovie Smith at least has drawn his attention. Trout chatted with Smith on the field about 30 minutes prior to Saturday's homecoming kickoff against Minnesota.
"One thing I like them is Coach Smith, their coaching staff and how they're pretty family-oriented too," Trout said. "That's a good thing to me. They're selling to me right now that Coach Smith is an NFL coach. He knows how to coach you up. Things may not be what they will be soon but you can come change that."
Illinois also has a few Illini representatives in St. Louis who can help in the recruitment, though Trout said Adams and Boyd aren't pushing "too hard just yet."
"They haven't stressed it too much to me," Trout said, "but they said they really like it and that I should come check it out, so here I am."
Trout did say commitments from Adams and Boyd raised the Illini's profile in St. Louis, where Illinois had struggled to land prospects under former head coach Tim Beckman.
Said Trout: "That means, 'Hey, there's other schools around here, but you can come play Big Ten football a few hours away from home.'"
Trout said Nebraska and Missouri, along with Illinois, are the teams recruiting him hardest who have offered him a scholarship. He said Georgia and Ohio State also have picked up interest. Trout also recently received an offer from Penn State.
"Historic program," Trout said. "Got a big win the other day. Great coaching staff. I like the DC and everything."
Trout said he hasn't taken any other visits during the season but will probably will make more visits after the season.
What's Trout looking for in a program?
"I just want to get a degree and be around people who care about me," he said.