Recruiting notes: Three visit Champaign

The unofficial season for official visits remains a few weeks away. But Illinois continues to bring in official visitors during the season, including three for the Ohio State game -- Floridians Andrew Carter and Sam Barrington as well as Homewood-Flossmor's Michael Buchanan. Details about their trips are among our recruiting notes.

-- The good sport award goes to Barrington, the extremely athletic linebacker from Jacksonville Terry Parker High School. Because of flight delays in and out of Atlanta all day, Barrington's flight, scheduled to arrive in Bloomington, Illinois early afternoon, actually finally arrived in Peoria near 11.

By the time he finally made it to Champaign, it was well after midnight.

Still, the word from those around Barrington in Jacksonville is he had a very good visit. His host was former high school teammate A.J. Jenkins, now a freshman receiver at Illinois.

Barrington has had an extraordinary season at Parker and could legitimately be considered the High School Player of the Year in Jacksonville as either a running back or a linebacker. Illinois, and most schools, are recruiting him as a linebacker, though, and the 6-3, 210-pounder with great speed could be a factor very early on. He flew out early afternoon Sunday.

-- Carter, a 6-4, 270-pound offensive lineman from Tallahassee Leon, is as solid a commitment as there can be. He traveled to Champaign with his parents, flying into Bloomington and arriving in Champaign late afternoon on Friday.

Carter's host was offensive lineman Graham Pocic and the two spent the entire weekend hanging out. He made it in time for the Illinois walk through on Friday and as well as attending the game and other team-related functions.

Another player who looks like he can play right now, Carter has spent time as a defensive lineman in high school and has been recruited to play there by many schools. But he will be a guard or center at Illinois. And very well could play as a true freshman, much like Corey Lewis and Jeff Allen this year.

-- Buchanan, a 6-6, 220-pound defensive end, spent time with a number of players, including two players sitting out the season -- defensive back Ashante Williams and receiver Jarrod Fayson.

-- NCAA rules don't allow members of the media to meet or visit with recruits while on campus on a recruiting visit. Probably a good rule because these guys would be inundated.

But rules don't stop you from noticing that they are there and boy do these guys look the part. Carter looks like he could play offensive line right now -- with an extremely square-shoulder, grown man look about him.

Barrington is tall and cut, probably weighing in around 206 or so right now. He will play at 225 in college and could be there by next season. He seems to be a guy that would play very early at Illinois, given the Illini's lack of depth at linebacker.

Buchanan looks like he can easily add 30 pounds to his rangy frame to play at the next level and may have as much upside as any recruit anywhere. I can just imagine Craig Drummond lined up on one side and Buchanan on the other for many years, if it plays out that way.

-- In addition to those three, the Illini hosted numerous unofficial visitors for the Buckeyes game. A steady stream of official visit weekends begins in earnest in December.

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