Jason Bargy no longer needs to show up to summer camps to earn scholarship offers. But the Class of 2019 Momence (Ill.) defensive end still showed up to the Illinois Showcase Camp on Saturday.
"It's just to get better," Bargy said. "That's all you can get. The little things I've always struggled with. I got to get better at those. I can just keep getting better and doing better things."
Bargy didn't have to do much to stand out. The junior's 6-foot-4, 225-pound physique and speed (he ran a 4.81-second 40-yard dash) made him the most no-doubt power-five prospect among linemen. He also showed enough improvement to earn MVP lineman honors for the camp.
"It was good; I was not expecting that," Bargy said. "I came here to put in the work and time. I didn't know that was coming. It's great."
Bargy has the tools, but he knows he is still a raw football player. So he spent the afternoon soaking up knowledge from Illinois defensive line coach Mike Phair during the drills.
"I love being around him," Bargy said. "I want to listen to him. His voice makes you have his attention and not let off. I just keep my eyes on him and listen to what he's saying. I like him a lot."
Phair and Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus have led the recruitment for Bargy, who also visited for a spring practice in February. The pair of Illini assistants watched Bargy at a track meet last spring.
"They're very welcoming," Bargy said. "They've been talking to me, smiling, making sure I'm all right."
Bargy -- who played running back (1,266 rushing yards) and defensive end (61 tackles, 5.0 sacks) for Momence last season as a sophomore -- was asked how the Illini staff is making him feel.
"That I should stay here in state," Bargy said.
Bargy's recruitment has taken off since the Illini offered in February. He has since added five more power-five scholarship offers: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa State.
"It's a scramble," Bargy said. "I'm getting used to it."
Bargy on June 14 will visit the Northern Illinois camp, where Arkansas and Penn State will be present. He also will camp at Notre Dame this summer and said he wants to focus on improving his technique.
"The (Notre Dame) coaching staff is very welcoming," Bargy said. "They make sure you're right on the spot. They don't let you slack or nothing."
Bargy just wrapped up a track season that included a trip to state for the 200-meter dash (he ran a 23.15 in the prelims) and the 4x100 relay. After improving his speed, he wants to spend the summer improving his skill and strength.
"I've just been working hard with track and weight lifting at home," Bargy said. "Now that track's over, there's going to be a lot more weight lifting and focus on football now to get ready for the season."