Hunter Woodard got a call from the Illinois coaches Thursday morning to take the short drive to campus for an unofficial visit.
The Tuscola offensive lineman was hopeful for good news -- and he got it.Illinois extended a scholarship offer to the physical offensive lineman from their backyard.
"It was awesome," Woodard said. "I've been waiting for the past year for this to come, and it finally came. I've been looking forward to this for a long time."
Woodard spent about four hours on the Illinois campus.
"I got there and all the coaches and players started talking to me," Woodard said. "We watched a highlight film of the 2016 U of I team on the big screen. Then I went in and had some individual time with the different coaches. Then Coach Lovie (Smith) and I sat down for about 45 minutes and had a really good talk.
"We were just kind of talking about U of I and how he thought it would be a great fit for me and how he really wants me to stay at home. It was a really good talk."
Woodard's family is full of Illini fans. His father, Bob, was a walk-on basketball player for the Illini. That makes the Illini stand out.
"It's really huge," Woodard said. "I'm super-excited to have it. I've been looking forward to it for a really long time."
http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/story/1768754-2018-illini-recruiti... Is Woodard thinking of making a quick decision?
"I'm not really sure," Woodard said. "I'm probably going to give it some time and think everything over because it's one of the biggest life decisions I can make," Woodard said.
Recruiting has really heated up for Woodard. He received offers from Oklahoma State and Syracuse this month as well.
"It's been really crazy," Woodard said. "It's been picking up really fast."
What's Woodard looking for in a school?
"I really want something with my degree in it," Woodard said. "I want to major in wildlife management. I want to be a fishing game warden. That's a big one for me. I want a school that will develop me as a player to be the best lineman I can be."