Gavin McCabe is a hot prospect among power-five programs. On Saturday, Illinois and the three-star Chicago Marist defensive lineman got to know each other better during his junior-day visit.
"It was good," McCabe said. "I really liked it a lot. I really liked the whole energy of the practice. It was super awesome what they were doing the practice and what they were doing with us recruits. I really liked it a lot."
McCabe was able to talk to some of the Illini coaches during the visit and received a call from defensive line coach Mike Phair on Sunday.
"They were talking to me about last year's signing class and how they signed seven defensive linemen, so they're really trying to take it slow with the d-linemen right now and figure out really who they wanted," McCabe said. "My place right now with them is they're going to come see me work out in April when they can come back to the schools. Then we're going to go from there. They just want to see me work out and run and stuff like that and take it from there and talk to me about offering then."
McCabe said he certainly has interest in the home-state school, especially Lovie Smith's staff.
"I love them," McCabe said. "They're going to be one of the best staffs in college football, I believe. They have NFL experience, college experience but mainly NFL experience. To have that experience with NFL coaches is awesome.
"I think it's awesome they had like 10 kids (sign) from in state. I think that's awesome. Illinois, you got to recruit from your state. I think Chicago's got one of the best recruiting areas in the whole country. So I think really what they're doing right now and getting all the recruits from Illinois, I think that's awesome."
McCabe already has a dozen offers already, including four power-five offers: Indiana, Syracuse, Boston College and Iowa State. The recent offer from the Hoosiers was a big one.
"The Indiana offer was huge," McCabe said. "It was really something I was looking forward to. I wasn't sure it would come or not (during my visit), but it was awesome."
McCabe said he also is hearing a lot from Minnesota and Purdue. He plans to take some visits out east to see Boston College, Syracuse and Rutgers.
"Mainly, I pretty much just got to keep working," McCabe said. "I don't want to get distracted or anything, so I just want to keep doing what I'm doing right now. It'll all work out eventually."