Illinois has a big junior day on tap for Saturday, as several top prospects from the Midwest flock to Champaign to meet with second-year head coach Tim Beckman and his staff.
Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West 2014 OT Eric Shute saw his first BCS offer come from Illinois.
Many of the players coming already hold an offer from Illinois and expect a few more to go out on campus.
Here’s a look at some of the bigger names expected to visit.
• Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel teammates, Top247 defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr., running back Matt Domer and offensive lineman Nathan Oquendo helped lead their team to a state championship in the fall. Illinois has already offered the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Smith along with the likes of Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Indiana, N.C. State and Purdue. Domer has an offer from Northern Illinois and Oquendo has scholarships from Purdue and Eastern Michigan.
• Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame running back Chris James had a big junior season, rushing for roughly 2,100 yards and 32 touchdowns. Illinois has offered, as has Indiana, Idaho and Toledo.
• Downers Grove (Ill.) South freshman offensive tackle Erik Swenson has an offer from Illinois and reports verbal scholarships from Michigan and Notre Dame. Could end up being one of the nation’s top prospects in the class-of-2016.
• Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East offensive lineman Nick Allegretti has early offers from Illinois and Cincinnati. He also visited the Illini campus during the fall.
• Oak Park (Ill.) Montini Catholic outside linebacker/defensive end Nile Sykes arrives with offers from the Illini and Purdue among others.
Downers Grove (Ill.) North 2014 OLB Vontae Diggs could be in line to land an offer from the Illini this weekend.
• Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West junior offensive tackle Eric Shute has offers from Illinois and Toledo and could grow into the programs next national recruit.
• De Kalb (Ill.) High sophomore running back Dre Brown figures to be one of the most highly recruited players in the state in the class-of-2015. Illinois and Northern Illinois have already extended a scholarship.
• Downers Grove (Ill.) North outside linebacker Vontae Diggs should soon see the offers roll in.
• Belleville (Ind.) West linebacker Tori Millender is a promising prospect that already has an offer from Purdue.
Other in-state notables: Shane Evans, offensive line, Crystal Lake (Ill.) Prairie Ridge; James Butler, running back, Wheaton (Ill.) St. Francis; J.B. Butler, offensive guard, Joliet (Ill.) Catholic, Chase Gianacakos, offensive tackle, St. Charles (Ill.) North; Jarvion Franklin, running back, Tinley Park (Ill.) Andrew; Jake Kolbe, quarterback, Naperville (Ill.) Central; Zach Novoselsky, offensive tackle, Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson; Dylan Thompson, defensive end, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic; Porter Ontko, Lisle (Ill.), safety, Benet Academy; Denzel Tolliver, receiver, Hillside (Ill.) Proviso West, Mike Dudek, receiver, Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley, Austin Roberts, offensive line, Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle.
• Gary (Ind.) West Side receiver/defensive back Lonnie Johnson comes to Champaign with Ohio State as his favorite, but Illinois recently offered. Johnson is excited to meet with the coaching staff and see where he would fit in the Illini offense.
• Gary (Ind.) West Side receiver Jon Vea’ Johnson is one of the Hoosier State’s top pass catchers. He hauled in 47 passes for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
Blue Springs (Mo.) High four-star 2014 RB Dalvin Warmack is one of the more exciting players in the country.
• Saint John (Ind.) Lake Central outside linebacker/defensive end Gelen Robinson will head to Illinois. He had a big junior season, racking up 95 tackles including 47 stops for loss, 13 sacks and five forced fumbles.
• Fort Wayne (Ind.) South Side cornerback/receiver Donovan Clark is one of the state’s more exciting two-way players.
• Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll safety Drue Tranquill put himself on the recruiting map with a strong junior season. Also a high-end baseball player.
• Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne junior linebacker Dorian Hendrix has an Illinois offer.
• Westerville (Ohio) South tight end Darryl Long already has offers from Illinois and Pittsburgh among others.
• Louisville (Ohio) High junior quarterback Joey Duckworth is one of the top passers in the Buckeye State and holds early scholarships from Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo.
• Blue Springs (Mo.) High four-star junior running back Dalvin Warmack was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and rushed for 2,294 yards and 39 touchdowns during the fall, and added another six scores receiving. Toledo has offered. Visited Champaign during the fall.