Christian Suntrup is the quarterback for Chaminade College Prep in St. Louis. The three-star athlete is making the rounds of a number of top colleges this spring. He liked what he saw at Illinois Wednesday.
"It was a really good time. I really enjoyed it. I got to spend a lot of time with the coaches and see the great facilities. It was a lot of fun to see practice too. I liked it."
Since media were not permitted to watch the scrimmage portion of Wednesday's practice, Suntrup provided an evaluation.
"They did pretty good. They looked sharp. The offense and defense both looked good. They were moving the ball a little bit, so it was fun to watch the different teams go against each other. It was a game-like atmosphere. It was pretty fun."
Suntrup could see himself fitting into the new offense brought in by Paul Petrino.
"Yeah. They're going to be doing everything, I think. With the new coordinator, I think they're going more towards a pro-style deal. That's the kind of guy I am. I think that's a definite plus. Everything looks pretty good."
Suntrup has mobility and is used on bootlegs and rollouts at Chaminade.
"Yeah, I don't just stay in the pocket. I have the ability to get outside a little bit and throw the ball pretty well on the run. I think that's something I can do. So that's another thing that helps with the offense they're running towards."
The 6'-3", 210 pounder is being triple-teamed by Illini coaches.
"DeAndre Smith is the recruiting coach for my area. I am in good contact with him, Coach (Jeff) Brohm and Coach Petrino as well. I really like them all.
"I like Coach Petrino's intensity. I think he's a great coordinator to have. I got to watch Coach Brohm work the quarterbacks. I think he's in good control and knows what he's doing. And I think Coach Smith does a great job with the running backs. I'm building up a good relationship with all three of them."
Did he get to see campus before returning to St. Louis?
"I didn't get to see too much. We drove around on Green street. That was pretty neat with everything going on there. And we walked into the rec center, which was pretty cool. With the students walking around, it seemed like a good place to be. I didn't get to see any of the classrooms, but from what I saw I was pretty impressed."
Suntrup has five official offers already, with more likely in the near future.
"I've got Boston College, Nebraska, Kansas, Stanford and Minnesota. And I'm looking pretty heavily at Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Notre Dame somewhat, Kansas State a little bit, Northwestern and Boise State as well."
What did the coaches say about a possible offer from Illinois?
"Coach Brohm and I got a chance to talk. He likes my style, the way I play. I got complimented by all three of them. They really like my size, and I've put on a couple pounds. So I'm maybe a little bigger and a little taller.
"I think they were really impressed. I think if I can show them my skills maybe at a camp or whatnot, it would improve my chances."
Suntrup feels it is important to camp with or at least visit all the schools highest on his list so he can check his compatibility with coaching styles and campus atmosphere. He may not be able to do that with all the schools on his list.
"Yeah, it's tough. So I really need to break it down, pick some schools I really think I can fit into my schedule and work in. At least see the campus, meet the coaches and stuff like that."
Quarterback recruitment is unique due to the domino effect. Once the first few upcoming seniors pick their schools, the other quarterbacks feel compelled to secure their spots with the schools of their choice before someone else gets those scholarships.
"Yeah, once the first couple decisions go out, then others go hear and there. I've heard some stories about the whole process. It's a different position and a different deal."
That can be traumatic for young men unaccustomed to the process. Fortunately, he has parents who are helping him along the way. His dad serves both as mentor and chauffeur.
"Yeah, he's been spending a lot of time with me. He played in college as well. He's been giving me some helpful tips with it all. His experience is definitely a good thing to have. My dad went to Oklahoma. He went there a year and got hurt. So he finished is career at the University of Missouri. He was a linebacker.
"I have a great pair of parents. My mom and dad really care for me and do as much as they can to help me make the best decision."
Suntrup is looking forward to a college career filled with football glory. But he has a good head on his shoulders and wants to prepare for the day his football career ends. He has some thoughts about a possible major.
"I think something in business. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that would be best for me for life after football."