Bobby Roundtree is one of the top priorities left on the Illinois football recruiting board. The three-star Largo (Fla.) defensive end is one of the few prospects Illini coach Lovie Smith has personally watched this fall.
So it's a good sign for the Illini that Roundtree used his first official visit to visit Champaign last weekend as Illinois hosted Iowa.
"It's a school that stood out, and I love talking to Coach Lovie," Roundtree said. "He loves the way I play. It feels like I'd be able to come here and start and be able to make an immediate impact on the team and help the team get some wins."
Illinois is in Roundtree's top-five along with Indiana, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Minnesota. Roundtree will take an official visit to Indiana soon.
"The coaches there stick out," Roundtree said of Indiana. "I played with two guys from there (Largo products Jonathan Crawford and Donavan Hale), and I've been talking to them a lot. They give me a lot of comfort."
Illinois got the first shot though and left a favorable impression.
"It's a really, really nice school, one of the best I've seen so far," Roundtree said. "It's my first official visit, but I love everything I'm seeing. I love all the people here, and the team, they're good guys."
Smith has taken special interest in Roundtree, who he envisions as a Julius Peppers-like defender for the Illini due to his length and athleticism. During Roundtree's visit, Smith showed the Floridian how he'd use him in his defense.
"He was showing me a few things I could do on the field. I just feel like I can rush the quarterback and rip the ball out," Roundtree said. "I feel like I can trust him. I know he coached in the league (NFL) and has his connections. He tells me he'll look out for me, so that means a lot for me also."
What's Roundtree looking for in a program?
"I just want one that fits me the best," he said.