One year after producing three power-five tight ends, the state of Illinois again looks strong at the position in the Class of 2018. That's a positive for the Illini who missed out on Cole Kmet, Jake Marwede and Logan Christopherson last year.
The Illini hosted another in-state power-five prospect at the position on Saturday: Hinsdale Central junior Matt Bjorson.
"I really wanted to see all the practice, the work out and compare it to other schools I've been visiting like Indiana, Michigan State and schools like that," Bjorson told Illini Inquirer.
Bjorson has four MAC offers -- Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Ball State -- but recently received his first power-five offer: Kentucky.
"That was big because it's an SEC school," Bjorson said. "It was really cool when I went to visit down there. I like the way their program is set up."
Bjorson also plans to visit Iowa State, Minnesota and Michigan State this spring with Northwestern as a possibility as well. But the in-state prospect is hoping for a scholarship offer from his home state's flagship university.
"(The Illini) probably want me to come to a camp, so they can watch me in person," Bjorson said. "But hopefully I get an offer soon from them because they're my top Big Ten school right now.
"I just like two and a half hours from home. It's in Illinois, the home state and the legacy behind it."
Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus, who recruits the Chicago area heavily, is the lead recruiter for Bjorson -- who played at Hinsdale Central with current Illini offensive lineman Doug Kramer Jr. and walk-on running back Christian Bobak.
"He's up at our school at least once every two months," Bjorson said. "I like his attitude. He's crazy. He gets after it. That's what I like."
What's Bjorson looking for in a school?
"Somewhere that fits me for a college campus and all that," Bjorson said. "Somewhere that has an attitude like me that likes to compete."