Hendrix Enjoys Illinois Game Day

Saturday found 2014 linebacker Dorian Hendrix visiting Illinois and coming away impressed with his game day experience.

An early offer from Illinois made Huber Heights (Ohio) 2014 linebacker Dorian Hendrix looking to catch the Illini on a game day. Last Saturday, Hendrix along with him mother made the drive to Champaign not knowing what to expect.

"The game was great as I got there early and talked with a couple of the athletes," said Hendrix. "I also spoke with a few prospects from the area as we all hooked up and talked about Illinois as a school.

"I also got a chance to see the tailgating and that was amazing and probably one of the best tailgating schools I've seen so far."

With the Illinois staff recruiting Ohio hard, Hendrix knows if others from the area would choose the Illini the program could get a major bump.

"I already have a great relationship with Jarrod Clements who is committed to Illinois," said Hendrix. "I've not talked a lot with Reon (Dawson) but being from the same area I'm sure we have things in common.

"I think it says a lot about the quality of football that is played in our conference (Greater Western Ohio) and in Southwest Ohio. When guys come together from this area with one goal of winning and do big things a lot should be expected. So having other guys from the area is important when looking at Illinois or any program."

While Illinois has seen its share of struggles this season, Hendrix's knows the program still has support.

"They've been struggling a little bit with the transition of a new coaching staff," said Hendrix. "But for the record they have they still had a nice crowd and you can see the support the program has."

While still early in the process Hendrix came away feeling positive about his time spent with the Illini staff.

"I feel I have a great relationship with the Illinois staff," said Hendrix. "I spoke with coach (Mike) Ward and coach (Tim) Beckman while I was there. I had the opportunity to meet Coach Beckman's wife, mother and father after the game and had a nice sit down talk with them as they were letting me know if I came there I would be a big part of the program and how they would love to have me.

"They also told me some family stories and I felt very comfortable around them. I also believe I have a great relationship with coach (Alex) Golesh, coach (Steve) Clinkscale and all those guys up there."

Hoping to have his decision made sometime between late spring and early summer, Hendrix knows what he's looking for in a program and feels Illinois has many of the things he's looking for. He also knows there is a good chance he'll hear from other programs in the coming months.

"First and foremost is academics," stressed Hendrix. "My mother and I talk about that first when we discuss any school. The football part is cool, but academics will always be number one. I'm also looking at a schools tradition. Coming from Wayne High School we have a lot of tradition and that was one of the main reasons I attended Wayne. So tradition is as important as success on the field and I feel Illinois and some of the other Big Ten schools fit those criteria's.

"As for Illinois, it is not a bad drive and my mom liked it there and feels comfortable with the staff. She likes what she saw of Champaign and of campus. I could see myself playing for Illinois and their staff.

"However, it's early in the process and coaches from other programs are working on their teams and the current recruiting class. So you can't really tell how things are going until they finish up their seasons and start recruiting."

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