"I got to talk to Coach (Ron) Zook and Coach Schultz over there. I've been having phone calls with Coach Gilbert."
He came away impressed by what he saw and what he was told.
"First off, the facilities are excellent. Since maybe four years ago when I went to see a football game there, they've made dramatic improvements. They talk to me a lot about their academics. I really like their choices and that first year your ability to find out what you want to do for your major."
Mike has been around the Illinois campus and team off and on during his life, so he can attest to the upgrades made during Coach Zook's tenure.
"I actually have family up there in Champaign. When I make my college choice, I'd like to be somewhat close to my family."
The massive offensive lineman has already taken in some other campuses and programs across the heartland.
"I've been to junior days and taken visits at Tulsa, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU and Northwestern. I went to Northwestern because they offer a really good education, but really I just went to visit."
His dad also played college ball and that made him a fan of the local university.
"I grew up a fan of TU because that's where my dad played."
Mike says he is currently 6'5", 325 pounds, and that he is not sitting idly by during the offseason. Instead, he is working hard to get better.
"I'm going to a trainer right now and am working on my foot speed, my explosiveness, and my hand speed. I played on the offensive line and occasionally on the defensive line if needed. Next year, I'll be just on the offensive line.
"Blocking is probably my strongest aspect of my game. My run blocking is probably my strongest point, and my pass blocking is right up there with it. I just want to keep working on my technique."
The Bishop Kelley football team worked hard during the regular season and earned a berth in the postseason. However, that berth was short-lived.
"Last year, we ended up 7-4 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. The big thing for us was that we beat our crosstown rivals, the first time we've done that in a while.
"Next year we return a lot of our starters. We won't be losing too many players on defense, and we return everyone on offense except maybe 3 guys."< P>Mike reports that he got a 24 on his first ACT and has recently re-taken it. He has a 3.3 GPA.