Andre Carter felt he was just starting to build a tight relationship with Illinois assistant Tim McGarigle. And then the former Illini linebackers coach took a job with the Green Bay Packers earlier this month.
"My relationship with Coach McGarigle, at the time, he said they were very interested in me," Carter said. "He said he wanted to see my transcripts. A week after I sent them to him, he took the job with Green Bay. So, I'm trying to get that situated now."
Despite the departure of McGarigle, Illinois remains interested in the three-star Detroit Cass Tech defensive end and hosted Carter for an unofficial visit on Saturday.
"It was great," Carter said. "I loved the weather. I loved the DJ (playing music) during practice and the good they had going on. It was amazing. I loved watching (Illini defensive line coach Mike) Phair as well."
Carter said the visit strengthened his relationship with the rest of the Illinois staff.
"Our relationship is good," Carter said. "They said they were very interested in me, and I told them I was very interested in them too. I'm trying to get the process rocking with them actually.
"The thing that sticks out to me so far is education is a big thing for them. I like that. They like my size, and they'd like to see me at end. As a player, I play with my hands. I play with a good mindset and I'm very aggressive."
Carter has 14 scholarship offers, including Iowa State, Temple, Cincinnati, Boston College, Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio).
"All those guys are showing a lot of love and are interested in me," Carter said, "and Illinois as well."
Carter met with the Illinois staff after the visit and was told the Illini will stay in touch with him. He's hoping for an offer soon.
"They said they were glad I came down and hope to see me again," Carter said. "We're going to stay in touch, and I'll here something soon. Hopefully you guys will see me with Illinois stuff on."