Recently junior offensive lineman Michael Stewart (6-foot-5, 275-pounds) took an unofficial visit up to Champaign to visit Illinois. Stewart came away impressed with the Illini.
"My visit to Illinois was great," said Stewart. "It was great to be able to see the campus and see the facilities that they have at Illinois. It is really a nice place with a great football program and is a great school that fits my academic goals," he continued.
Stewart also got a chance to view an Illini spring practice.
"It was also great to watch a college practice and see what it was like and how things would be if I were to play in college. Overall it was a great experience and I hope to go back and learn even more about the school," said Stewart.
Stewart currently has no offers, but he's heard from Illinois, Purdue, Centre and Holy Cross.
"I hope to hear from more next season," he said. "I have been working hard during the off-season and have improved greatly and performed well during our spring practices. I am very hopeful next season. I know next season will be an important year for me and will be the year where things will happen for me," he continued.
Stewart is doing what he can do to get better as a player, but one of his biggest assets is that he knows what he needs to do to get better and is willing to work for it.
"As a player I would describe myself as a very determined player, very hard-working, doing whatever it takes to accomplish my goals in football. Also (I would say I'm) a helpful, team player. I always put the team before myself," he said.
Last season Stewart struggled with injuries, but he felt like he had a decent year. But he is already working to become a better player for his senior season.
"I want to improve my speed and strength. My speed is what I need the most improvement on. I have greatly lacked in that area," he said. I have been working with my coaches and I have improved greatly. I have been working hard to bring up these aspects of my game and have improved. I will keep working hard until I am at the level I need to be at," he said.
So what does Stewart do well?
"My major strength has to be that I am a smart player. I understand what has to happen on all the plays for all the line positions allowing me to run the offensive line like it should be," he finished.