Devin Ruffin made his first trip to Illinois on Saturday, and the Illini made a good impression on the St. Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker.
"It was good; it was real good, actually," Ruffin said. "I'm just waiting on an offer to make it better."
When Ruffin first arrived, he and the big group of visitors watched a highlight video on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard. Then, they were guided on a campus tour. Illini head coach Lovie Smith gave a welcome presentation and introduced the coaching staff. Ruffin also met with academic counselors, participated in a photo shoot and then sat in on a film-room meeting with defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson.
"We were breaking down what kind of schemes they ran," Ruffin said. "I feel like honestly (Nickerson) is one of the best of the best linebackers coaches in college football. He knows what he's talking about. I like the Tampa-2 (defense) they run."
Illinois is still evaluating Ruffin, who is hoping for an offer soon. He currently has power-five offers from Iowa State, Minnesota and Syracuse.
"They just said they're going through the recruiting process, and that I just have to be patient," Ruffin said. "I talked Coach Thaddeus Ward before I went up there. He said it's just a process. They want to see my height and weight because that was the first time they'd ever seen me up close. He just told me they're going to go through the process and get to know me."
Ruffin was one of dozens of St. Louis prospects who visited on Saturday.
"Of course, we all get along from the same city, all of us 2018 recruits," Ruffin said. "This is my first time up there, but all the rest have been up there before. They just enjoy going up there."
Ruffin visited with Lutheran North teammate Ronnie Perkins, a four-star defensive lineman, and said the two "possibly" want to play together at the next level. Perkins has almost 20 power-five scholarship offers, though.
Ruffin will visit three MAC schools this weekend: Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Bowling Green.
"I just want somewhere I can fit in, a place that can get me better as a player," Ruffin said.
If the Illini offer, they certainly will be one of the top teams on his list.
"I love it," Ruffin said. "I love the coaching staff, campus. I love it."