North Carolina QB To Camp With Illini

With summer upon them, Fighting Illini football coaches are taking the opportunity to evaluate prospects camping at the university. One such prospect is Derek Bryant, who is making the trek from North Carolina.

The summer of 2010 will jumpstart the recruiting process for quarterback Derek Bryant of Carrboro High School in North Carolina.

"I didn't visit any schools this spring, so I'll definitely have a busy summer."

Quarterback Derek Bryant holds the Illini in high regard.

"Illinois, along with Duke, N.C. State, and South Florida, are the schools at the top of the list for me. The schools are interested in offering so I'm camping so they can check things out. I'll be camping at Duke and N.C. State this weekend and Illinois most likely on June 22nd, though that date isn't set in stone."

This will be Bryant's first trip to Champaign-Urbana, but the visit will continue a recruitment that has been going on for over a year.

"Illinois has been in contact with me since the end of my sophomore year. Even with the coaching changes, they've kept in touch. I talk to the quarterbacks coach (Jeff Brohm) the most. The visit will be the first time I'll meet the coaches in person."

Even if Bryant does garner offers this summer, he will wait to make a decision.

"I think I'll take my 5 visits to stay as open as possible. Lots of things happen, and I want to make sure it's the place I want to be at."

Unlike the state of Illinois, schools in North Carolina have spring practice. As a result, Bryant has been busy this spring preparing for the upcoming season.

"So far, it's looking really good. We have eight or none starters back on offense. We're definitely an experienced group. We were 4-8 last season, but we lost about three games by one or two points. We learned from that last season, and we'll be better. The conference is wide open, so we can definitely make our mark."

Although he can run, Bryant prefers to pass.

"I'm a better passer than runner. I don't really run unless I have to in certain situations. I'm going into my fourth season on varsity, and I've been the starting quarterback since my freshman year. I'm glad I got the chance to start as a freshman because I've learned a lot about reading defenses."

The 6'-4", 220 pound quarterback spent the spring working on a weakness in his game.

"I did track this spring to improve my speed. I want to get faster. It worked out too because I was still able to participate in spring ball."

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