Illinois hosted a handful of talented defensive targets on campus this past weekend, one of which was Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood CB Quran Hafiz.
"I had a great time," Hafiz said. "They really showed me a good time. The thing that stood out the most to me was the people they have around the program. It's bound to come up."
The Illinois coaches are still installing a new defensive system under Lovie Smith, and part of that process is getting the proper personnel with which to accomplish that. Hafiz likes that Illinois considers him an important building block in that process.
"Well, this is their first recruiting class, so they get to bring in players that they want. That's the first step," Hafiz explained. "But they just know what they're doing."
Hafiz is a bigger corner and feels comfortable in both man coverage and in zone. He's done his homework on the type of defense Illinois has run under Lovie Smith and feels he would be a good matchup.
"I feel like they disguise a lot of coverages and they do a mixture of man, cover 2, and cover 3," Hafiz said. "But I feel like anywhere I go, if I learn the system I have a chance to play early. Their scheme (at Illinois) is just what I'm good at, so that helps."
Hafiz told IlliniInquirer early Sunday afternoon (and later confirmed via Twitter) that he will make his college announcement December 19th at a signing ceremony.
Hafiz was adamant that he has no leaders at this time and that all four of his finalists (Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa State, and Indiana) are all even at this time.