Isaiah Williams has received invitations to several blue-blood camps this season. The Class of 2019 St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic quarterback has turned down most of them, including Alabama, to focus on his high school team.
But Williams took time on Friday to stop by Lindenwood University to visit the Illinois staff, which was leading a camp in nearby St. Charles.
"It's a school that's really interested in me, and I'm really interested in them," Williams told Illini Inquirer. "So why not show love? I brought the whole team. We love the school. We love the coaches, so why not show love?"
Williams is one of 10 Trinity players currently on the roster with an Illinois offer. The Illini landed Trinity offensive lineman Larry Boyd in the Class of 2017 and basically have camped out at the St. Louis powerhouse, especially running backs coach Thad Ward and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, since Smith's arrival last spring.
"It's just a great bond," Williams said. "Our coaches, our players we all have a certain bond with the (Illinois) coaches. We just click for some reason."
Williams is one of the most sought-after national prospects in the Class of 2019. He currently holds 42 Division I scholarship offers, including blue-blood offers from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas.
But Williams doesn't hold back that Illinois -- a program that has struggled in the Big Ten recently -- is one of the schools he's considering most. Why?
"The people," Williams said. "To go to a school, I have to be comfortable with the people and mostly the coaches. That's one thing I am with them right now. I'm comfortable with the coaches and the people."
Williams spent a lot of time talking with the Illini coaches on Friday, especially McGee, the Illini quarterbacks coach.
"Garrick's a great guy," Williams said. "A great coach. A great person to be around."
Most schools are recruiting Williams as a wide receiver, but the Illini are selling Williams as the quarterback who will lead an Illini resurgence. Williams is undersized, but he is an electric playmaker. As a sophomore, he led Trinity to the state title game, completing 133 of 231 passes for 2,565 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also ran for 909 yards and 19 touchdowns.
"I have about five offers as a quarterback and some of them I'm not sure about," Williams said. "I'd like to play quarterback, but it really don't matter to me. I'll play anything."
Williams has helped catapult Trinity's rebuild into a state powerhouse. He said similarly lifting up Illinois in the Big Ten has an appeal.
"It's the same thing, the same mindset," Williams said. "Starting a legacy, building that legacy. Obviously, they had (success) before. They're coming back up. I want to build."
For now though, Williams -- who visits a football academy multiple times a week to work on his passing mechanics -- is focused on improving his game and his current team.
"I'm just trying to go win a state title, so I'm just leading my team mainly," Williams said. "I might go on a couple visits, but that's about it. I'm not going to really focus (on recruiting) until next year. I just want to focus on the football, focus on that and focus on one thing at a time. Then after the football season, that's when I'll focus on the recruiting process really."