Ryan Stonehouse had several other Division I opportunities. But the three-star Santa Ana (Calif.) punter chose not to sign a national letter of intent on Wednesday's National Signing Day so that he could see if any other opportunities developed.
His patience paid off. On Friday, he earned a scholarship offer from Illinois. Special teams coach Bob Ligashesky called with the news.
"He said that I have the spot there," Stonehouse said. "I just have to earn it."
Stonehouse currently holds power-five offers from Arizona and California. He also plans an official visit to Colorado State on Feb. 9-10. He said he also is considering Cal.
But Illinois -- which lost out on Ohio punter Brad Robbins, who signed with Michigan -- certainly will be a major player.
"The offer absolutely is a great opportunity," Stonehouse said. "I can see myself there. The offer is something I was looking forward to getting."
Stonehouse said an official visit to Illinois is in the works, though the date is not yet finalized. What sticks out about Illinois for Stonehouse?
"The opportunity to start for four years and the education," Stonehouse said.