Simeon's Chris Bryant Loves Illini Visit

The Fighting Illini football team held a Junior Day Saturday on campus. Around 60 prospects and their families traveled to C-U to get better acquainted with the coaches and football program. Among them was a contingent of stars from Chicago Simeon led by lineman Chris Bryant. This was his second visit, and he thinks highly of the school and program.

Chris Bryant is a huge and talented offensive lineman from Chicago Simeon High School. He already possesses a scholarship offer from Illinois, and he enjoyed his visit to campus Saturday.

"It was great. My family, my mom and dad, they love it 100%. We all love the family atmosphere. It really intrigues you. It's all about the family setting. I feel warm and welcome, like I'm at home. That's very important, you know."

New running back coach DeAndre Smith has taken over the Chicago Public League as his recruiting territory, and he has made a positive impression on Bryant.

"He's cool. He's 100% real. He's not gonna tell you exactly what you want to hear, he's gonna tell you the truth. That's what I want. I don't want to hear somebody say I'll start right away. He says you will have your chance to work for a starting spot. All the coaches keep it 100% real."

A number of former Simeon players have attended Illinois, both for football and basketball. This has become a positive recruiting tool for Illini coaches.

"Like they tell us, everyone from Simeon always has been successful. So there's a bond between Simeon and Illinois."

Bryant was joined by some of his teammates for Junior Day.

"Jordan Diamond came with me. Jordan is only a sophomore. Demarius Reed came also. They loved it too. That's their second time too."

Bryant, who will likely be an offensive guard in college, shared his best attribute as a player.

"For the size I have, I'm kind of quick. A lot of coaches say they're shocked that someone 6'-3" and 330 can actually move with it. So I'm pretty quick, but I can work on my technique more. I think by the time I get to college, I should be pretty good."

Bryant has five scholarship offers, with more on the way.

"I have scholarship offers from Minnesota, Memphis, Eastern Michigan, Kansas and Illinois. But I've been talking to Arizona a lot, and I've talked to Miami a lot. Stanford, Boston College, there's quite a few that talk to me a lot. I visited Michigan State last weekend."

Bryant is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I think I'm gonna wait until signing day. I'll try to get as many offers as I can and wait it out, try to make sure it's the best situation for me."

Will Illinois be among the finalists?

"Yeah, definitely. Even before I could count, I've always wanted an offer from them. That's definitely one of my top choices."

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