Jacksonville Linebacker Enjoys Illini Visit

The Fighting Illini held their annual Orange and Blue Spring Game this weekend. They also played host to a large number of recruits interested in checking out the revamped Illini. Jamil Murray flew up from Florida to take in the game.

The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida is home to Jamil Murray, a 6'-1", 200 pound linebacker being recruited by Illinois. Murray made a brief trip up check out the school this weekend.

"I was at the spring game and able to talk to the coaches, but after the game I had to rush back to the hotel. I needed to get back to Jacksonville because I needed to be at a football banquet. From what I saw, the school is really nice and has a big campus, which I love."

Memorial Stadium impressed Murray.

"My first thought on the stadium was that it has a lot of prestige with Red Grange and everyone. I really like the turf field because it reminds me of my high school's field. I didn't get to see the indoor practice facility, but I was able to see the outdoor practice fields."

The Illini's success in Jacksonville over the years has been due to the efforts of linebackers coach Dan Disch. He is once again active in the area and is the lead recruiter for Murray."

"I'm being recruited by Coach Disch. He's been after me for a month or two. My family is familiar with him because he coached my cousin when he was at Ed White High School. He helped my cousin get to Vanderbilt.

"I talked to Coach Disch for a good 15 to 30 minutes when I was there. I also got to talk to Coach Zook and got to meet all the other coaches. They all knew my name."

Murray had several schools to choose from when deciding where to visit this weekend, but he chose Illinois.

"I've been talking with Coach Disch the most so I already knew him. I had never been up north before. I wanted to see how I would respond to the weather. The weather wasn't bad, but I'd be wearing sleeves."

Although Murray doesn't have any offers currently, several school are showing interest.

"Illinois, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Illinois State, and Cincinnati are recruiting me. All of them are recruiting me as a linebacker. I didn't have a favorite school growing up."

Murray will lead an experienced defense next fall.

"We lost most of our skill players, especially on offense. We have our whole defensive line coming back, and the defense will have to the carry the team. I play middle linebacker.

"Last season was my first year playing in the middle, so I was a little hesitant and nervous at times. I'll be looking to make a bigger impact this year because I'll be more comfortable.

"We start spring ball a week from Monday so we'll be able to see where we are at going into the season. We usually dominate the conference and have won state titles in recent years, but with our losses we'll use spring ball to see where we're at with our team."

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