Offensive lineman Ben Davisson was on campus this past weekend taking in the spring game. He liked what he saw.
"Everyone was so nice. They introduced us to the coaches when we signed in. They took us down to the weight room. After that, they showed us a highlight video. Then we had a nice lunch.
"Once we got done eating lunch, we were free to go down on the field to watch them warm up. Then once the game started, we moved up into the stands to watch the game. That was pretty cool."
Illinois has been recruiting the 6'-9", 295 pound Rensselaer Central High School lineman for awhile now.
"It's been about two, three months. I've been receiving mail since the end of basketball season. This was the first time I've gotten on campus. I think Coach [Vic] Koenning is my recruiting coach. He visited me two or three weeks ago. I also talk to Coach [Joe] Gilbert. He's really cool, and I like him a lot."
Davisson has taken visits this spring to a number of schools.
"Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Western Michigan. So far, Western Michigan is my only offer."
Although he wants to continue to familiarize himself with the different programs, Illinois is sitting in a good position.
"Illinois is probably in my top three or four right now. They're a pretty cool program, and I like the coaches a lot. I just want to get to know the coaches better."
Due to his height, the schools recruiting Davisson see him playing at the end of the offensive line.
"All the schools see me as an offensive tackle."
At 6'-9", Davisson is taller than almost anyone else on the football field. That height, though, gives Davisson certain advantages.
"I think it helps me because I have a longer reach and a longer stride to keep in between the defense and the quarterback."
Davisson's brother Terry is a current redshirt freshman at Western Michigan. Terry has been a valuable source of information for Ben.
"He's shown me how the recruiting process works, and he's shown me how college life is. So when I go to make my decision I'll know what to expect."
During the offseason, Davisson is working hard to improve himself.
"I'm focusing on making myself stronger. Since I played basketball this winter, I haven't had as much time to work on the core lifts I know I need to work on. I've been trying to cut the baby fat and gain the muscle and the strength I need. I also want to work on my explosiveness."
Davisson will have a busy summer as he hopes to compete in AAU basketball as well as visiting a number of camps.
"I'm going to try my best to compete in Sports Youth Foundation (SYF) this summer, but I know my future probably lies in football because of my size and because my football recruiting process is moving along faster than my basketball process.
"I believe I'm going to be going to camps up at Illinois, Western Michigan, Purdue, Indiana, and Michigan State."
Next fall, Davisson will help anchor his school's offense as they seek to improve on their excellent season last fall.
"We made it to the semi-finals last year. We're returning 19 of 22 starters. I'm expecting a very good season next year, and I'll be very disappointed if we don't. Usually I play offensive tackle, but sometimes I'm moved down to guard if the coaches need me there. I also play both ways."