Illinois got a big-bodied pass-catcher in 2016 in TE/WR Zarrian Holcombe from the Houston, TX area. Now they turn their attention to his younger brother John Holcombe, who landed an offer from the Illini following his visit this past weekend.
Holcombe has some familiarity with the Illinois program through his brother, but this weekend's visit afforded him a chance to get his own impression of the school first-hand.
"I really like the environment," Holcombe said. "The campus is beautiful. It feels safe and feels like I'm right at home. The coaches are very cool, and the players are even better. It just seems to be a very chill, relaxed environment."
Holcombe is a mobile quarterback for Summer Creek HS, but could play a variety of positions at Illinois. Quarterback is a possibility, however the Illini are recruiting him as an athlete who could land in several spots.
"I feel I'd fit great (in the Illinois offense)," Holcombe said. "I have great arm strength and can sit in the pocket, but I can get out of the pocket and create with my feet when I need to."
As is often the case, academics will play a role in Holcombe's recruitment. He has a challenging major in mind, and it's one area in which Illinois happens to be proficient.
"I'm looking at who has the best program as far as engineering," Holcombe said. "But also what the coaching staff is like, how the players are, and how I feel on campus."
As he's started to receive interest from Illinois, Holcombe has consulted his brother for his insight into the program.
"He's told me a lot about the coaches," he said. "He told me they're really cool, and that the players are, too. I've noticed that they're a great coaching staff as a whole, including Coach Ligashesky."