Nolan Eike mostly has received interest from MAC and FCS programs. So when Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus reached out to him recently, the Batavia offensive lineman was a bit surprised.
"I was contacted a few weeks ago by Coach Butkus kind of out of the blue," Eike said. "He said, 'Hey, we'd like to see you come down here for a day.' I was like, 'Sure, I'd love to come.' So it's just been some brief conversations."
Eike took advantage of the opportunity and visited Illinois for a junior day on Saturday. He took in an Illini practice and talked a bit with the staff.
"It's awesome," Eike said. "Everything's super nice. The facilities are really nice, and they have a great staff."
Eike currently holds offers from Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Illinois State and Western Illinois. Some Ivy League programs also have shown interest.
"Spring and summer, I'm doing track and field, but it's also a good offseason for me," Eike said. "I'm trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, so I can get ready for the next level.
"I've been invited to a few camps by certain schools, like Central Michigan and those who have actually offered me so far. So I'm just starting to check places out."
What's Eike looking for in a program?
"I'm looking for somewhere that I can fit in really good," Eike said. "Academics, I want it to be good and a bit of a challenge for me. I just want somewhere I can feel comfortable."