Jakari Norwood will get a closer look at his first power-five opportunity next week. The Deerfield Beach (Fla.) running back will attend and participate in the Illini's Friday Night Lights Camp on Friday, June 16.
Illinois became the first power-five program to offer Norwood late last month.
"(The Illini offer) felt good because they had been showing interest for some time," Norwood said. "It means a lot because they show a lot of love as if I'm a player on the team."
Illinois running backs coach Thad Ward is the lead recruiter for Norwood.
"I like him a lot," Norwood said. "He keeps it 100 with me, and he tells me that I can come in be an special player with their offense. He can coach me to be even better then I am now."
Norwood is still learning more about Illinois and will learn a lot more when he camps next week.
"I know it's Big Ten," Norwood said. "They're a good football team, and the possibility of playing for Lovie Smith would be great."
Southern Miss also has offered, and Northern Illinois is showing interest too. What's most important for Norwood in picking a school?
"Mostly a school that runs the ball and where I'm going to get on the field," he said.
Norwood, 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, is a patient runner that does a nice job of getting out on the perimeter and playing off his offensive line. Norwood stays behind his blockers, and then accelerates and busts through the hole when seeing daylight. Norwood is also a slippery tailback that flashes impressive lateral quickness and shiftiness when engaged in one-on-one situations in space. The 2018 prospect is off to an impressive start with coach Jevon Glenn and Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High. -- Corey Bender, Scout.com Florida recruiting analyst