Jeremy Werner // Illini Inquirer

Chicago LB Joseph Bonds: 'Illinois was great'

In-state linebacker Joseph Bonds of Chicago (IL) De La Salle was back on campus on Saturday for a big junior day. What did he think of Lovie Smith and the Illini's spring practice?

Illinois hosted a deep group of talent on Saturday including key recruits from both in-state and out.  One of those in attendance was Chicago (IL) De La Salle LB Joseph Bonds, who feels an offer could be close.

The Lovie Smith effect is only growing stronger over time.  Now that recruits are able to see him in person, several Illinois targets are taking notice, Including Bonds.

"Illinois was great," he said.  "I loved it. Lovie was great.  I loved the practice.  The intensity was great."

Aside from Lovie, Bonds got to spend time with Illinois defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson, who would be his position coach.  

"I got to talk a lot with the linebackers coach, Coach Nickerson," Bonds said.  "He's a really cool guy with great knowledge of the game."

But one of the highlights of the visit for Bonds on top of just talking to the coaching staff was getting to talk to some of the other recruits that were in town.  Getting their perspective on the recruiting process was enlightening for the Chicago product.

"I really enjoy getting to talk with people who are being nationally recruited, and it was really cool to see how they deal with the recruiting process," he said.

Bonds has a handful of offers already, but no Power 5 offers yet.  Bonds has a great blend of size and athleticism and is one of the top defensive prospects in state.  Does he feel an offer from the Illini could be on the way?

"I'm praying about it," he said, "but I believe it should eventually come."

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