It’s college day at our school, so alongside to working on college apps and essays, i decided to fill you guys in on my visit to the University of Illinois. Honestly, visiting Illinois was a spur of the moment decision, but I’m very glad I decided to go. They are one of the schools that has been recruiting me the hardest, and they have just as much to offer any student-athlete as all of the other programs I am currently looking at.
I want to try and keep this particular post short (probably won’t happen) , so the bottom line about my visit is that it went well. Not knowing what to expect from anofficial visit probably played a partial role in how well it went for me, but besides that I felt like I was very informed by the end of my trip. Here’s a breakdown of what my visit was like.
Day 1: I woke up earlier than I’d like to in order to catch a plane to Champaign , Illinois and got there just in time for the kickoff between the Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats. Needless to say, that game day experience could have rivaled any other schools game day experience. I had a great time being part of the crowd, and meeting some U of I alums (who happened to be from my hometown, Brampton) really made my game day experience even better. Getting a chance to meet the Athletic Director at half time was also a plus. I got a chance to ask a few questions and I pretty impressed with him as a person as a whole.
Following the game, I got a chance to experience what a big ten locker room is like after a big win against your rival school. Lets just say, it isn’t a place for anyone that is weak of heart. The atmosphere is enticing, but at the same time, it is a bit worrying to have 300 lbs linemen bouncing off the walls and being clapped on the back every 5 seconds by various players lol.
Preceding the game, I got a chance to sit down to dinner with Coach Zook and his wife, Coach Gilmore (Dline coach), Coach Gilbert (Oline coach), and Akeem Spence (Starting Dtackle). Dinner was enjoyable and I appreciated being able to spend time with the coaches outside of a football environment. From there on, it was just me and the players left to make the most of the rest of our days. And we did. The three things that the players stressed to me were that if I ever decided to choose Illinois as my future school that I’d be promised three things; A degree, I’d have fun, and Id play some big time football. Seems pretty legit if you ask me.
Day 2: This day is probably what I’d call my business day. I was given campus tours, facility tours and met with a ton of people. Throughout the course of the day I got many chances to ask as many questions as I liked (mostly questions my parents would have asked). Facility-wise, I’m not sure if it could get any better than Illinois. They just seemed to have everything, plus more. The campus is beautiful and seems very accessible. I also got a chance to meet with the academic counselors, and my meeting with them was very reassuring. Other than that, not much happened on day 2, but I felt like business was taken care of by the time it was time for me to leave.
Once again, my visit was enjoyable and It was a great experience. I probably couldn’t have picked a better time to visit the U of I. Special thanks to my Hostess Alysia for showing me around while I was there! (Sorry if I misspelled your name)