Illinois has actively recruited the St. Louis metro area heavily since Lovie Smith took over at Illinois. Landing players like Tony Adams, Larry Boyd, while also chasing other top players in the STL area, Illinois is looking to take a foothold in the area.
One of the players in that area that is getting a lot of attention from the Illinois staff is 2018 St. Louis (MO) Christian Brothers College Prep WR Cameron Brown.
"I think It shows that they see how St. Louis has a lot of talent and that the Midwest has a lot of talent in general," Brown said.
Brown lines up across from yet another talented receiver at CBC in Kamryn Babb. The two create matchup problems for their opponents.
"Having Kam helps both of us because opponents have to pick and choose," he said. "That way we can also spread the ball around a lot."
Brown saw Illinois for a second time this fall when he made the trip to Champaign for the Minnesota game recently. The offense is still a work in progress, but the STL native likes what he sees so far out of Illinois.
"I like how they run a lot of pro-style offense. They pass it a lot," Brown said. "I just love it. It's a great environment. Good football team, great coaching staff. I love it."
Illinois admittedly is having its share of struggles on the field, but players in 2018 like Brown are more concerned with the progress the team makes moving forward as well as how the coaches can develop players for the next level.
"The coaching staff is trying to make the program better year by year and develop the players into better players," Brown said. "I'm looking more about the development. The wins and losses are important, but I'm looking at how they can get me to the next level."
Brown has been around the midwest, especially in the B1G this fall. A recent visit to Lincoln landed him a Huskers' offer, but his visit to Champaign was his second in the last couple months.
"I've seen Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Mizzou, and Illinois," he said. "Nebraska just recently offered me right after the visit. I still want to get out to see Iowa vs. Michigan on the 12th."
Brown really is looking for an "at home" feel. So far, the Illinois coaches, specifically running backs coach Thad Ward, have done that.
I just want to find a good coaching staff where I can feel comfortable and at home," Brown said. "Honestly I just want to find a place to play the game. I talk with Coach Ward a lot. He and I have really good communication."