James Knight on Illini visit: 'I love the coaching staff'

East St. Louis linebacker/defensive back James Knight recaps Illini visit, updates recruitment

Wintry weather conditions caused some travel issues for Illinois football's big recruiting weekend, including for a group of East St. Louis products.

Flyers defender James Knight, who received an Illini offer, visited with teammates Jeff ThomasTerez Lagrone and LaMontre Harvey arrived at Illinois on Saturday, but their weekend unofficial visits were cut short on Sunday due to an incoming winter storm.

"We had to leave early because there was a snow storm Sunday," Knight said. "We didn't get to do too much. But I got to meet all the coaches. I love the coaching staff. I like their personalities and how they talk to you."


Knight said he met with Illini head coach Lovie Smith, running backs coach Thad Ward and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.

"They were saying they like my film, that they watched my film a whole bunch of times," Knight said. 

Knight said he enjoyed the time with his teammates, who talk about playing at the same college.

"We got to see it together, see the campus and stuff and meet with Thad and (East St. Louis product) Stanley Green," Knight said. "Stanley said he loves it there, that he likes it.

"We would like (to play together) if it can happen. It could happen (at Illinois)."

Knight -- who could play linebacker or defensive back at the next level -- said he's not yet in a rush to make a decision. He also holds an offer from Western Michigan and Ball State has shown interest too.

"I'm just going to see what offers I get and take some visits," Knight said. "But Illinois is my number one though. They're at the top. Lovie Smith is my favorite coach. I just like the tradition. He's an NFL coach. He went to a Super Bowl and coached there a long time. He's got experience, he knows a lot of people, and he knows talent when he sees it."

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