Kiaryn Davis previously had received visits from Division-I coaches. But the 5-foot-6 Miami Northwestern Class of 2018 athlete had never received the kind of attention he did earlier this week from Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and running backs coach Thad Ward.
During their stop at Northwestern, the Illini assistants handed Davis his first power-five scholarship offer.
"I walked into the locker room and saw nothing but blue and orange," Davis said. "I was shocked at first because it was a big D-I school. A lot of D-I schools look at me, but they overlook me because of my size. But they don't know what's inside of me, which is the heart of a lion. Overall, the offer went very smooth. It was nice."
"They were just telling me I'm the guy they're looking for," Davis said. "They would love me at their school."
Illinois is searching for a versatile speed threat on offense and in the return game. While Davis is undersized, he certainly has speed to burn. He lined up as a running back last season and showed great speed and elusiveness in the return game. He also was utilized well in the screen game, and even showed willingness and physicality as a blocker.
Davis doesn't care what position he plays in college. He just wants the ball in his hands.
"It really doesn't matter," Davis said. "I'm an athlete. I would play kickoff return, punt return or special teams. I was born an athlete."
What's Davis looking for in a program?
"The thing that's important to me in the recruiting process is that if you really want me at your school, just show me that you're really interested in me coming to your school," Davis said. "The thing that matters most to me in picking a football program is the coaching staff and how the coaches are coaching me as an athlete. The distance away from home really doesn't matter. It's nothing down here for me in Miami. I just want to get away from the violence and all of the bad things going around in my city."