Greg Newsome didn't own a power-five scholarship offer on Jan. 16. A month later, the Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North safety holds offers seven power-five programs.
"It's actually been really exciting," Newsome told Illini Inquirer. "I started off the recruiting kind of slow, but it's starting to pick up, so it's getting really exciting."
Newsome received several MAC offers during the fall and early winter. During the last four weeks, he's received offers from (in order) Arkansas, Minnesota, Syracuse, Northwestern, Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois and Boston College.
"I think the coaches just had a little more time to evaluate my film as a whole, and I guess they really liked my film," Newsome said. "The coaches have been telling me that since the summer, so it's great that they finally extended the offer."
Newsome, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound safety, said he expects to visit Iowa, Iowa State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois and Northwestern -- and possibly more -- during the spring and summer.
"I'm looking for a great atmosphere and a lot of support from the school," Newsome said. "I'm looking for actually a good academic school. That's a high standard for me when I'm choosing a college."
Newsome took an unofficial visit to Illinois last August with secondary teammate Tyrik Henderson. After watching his junior film, the in-state flagship program extended a scholarship offer.
"Lovie Smith has just been talking to me," Newsome said. "He's liked me for a minute after I went to their camp. I talked to him after the camp for a little bit. When he extended the offer I was actually really excited because I've talked to him many times before so it was good that he finally extended the offer.
"It's been pretty cool to have an NFL coach show interest in me. He said that I'm good at going to get the ball and I'm just a smooth player who can fit in their system on defense."