After landing Kendrick Green, Illinois is eager to create a "Peoria Pipeline." On Saturday, it hosted two more Big Ten prospects from the River City, quarterback Coran Taylor and offensive lineman Marques Cox.
Taylor already holds an Illini scholarship offer (read the latest update on him here). Cox is hoping to land one too and took another step forward in his relationship with the Illini on Saturday.
"It went well," Cox said. "I saw everything, the campus and how the coaches coach and what practice style they go through, all that. I got to see how (offensive line coach Luke) Butkus coaches. It was a mixture of how my high school coaches coach. It was cool."
Cox also spent some one-on-one time with Butkus.
"He talked about the o-line and o-line pride," Cox said. "He talked about the pride you need to be an o-lineman. He likes my length and how long my arms are basically. He also likes me as a person."
Cox suffered a torn ACL during Peoria's state semifinal win. He played through the injury in the Lions' state championship win -- Cox received his championship ring on Friday -- but underwent surgery on Dec. 28 and is just starting physical therapy. Illinois will keep an eye on the Peoria linemen's recovery.
"They said they want me to get up there for a spring practice," Cox said. "So I'll try my best to get up there."
Cox currently holds five Division I scholarship offers, including one from a power-five program (Iowa State). His injury will keep him from participating in spring and summer showcase camps. But he's still pursuing his options. He visited Indiana two weeks ago.
"It went good," Cox said. "I really liked it. I like Indiana and Illinois."