Not being one to thump on his own chest, Dillan Cazley kept it quiet when he received an Illinois offer recently, but today, he made the decision that Champaign was where he wanted to play.
"It's close to family and it's where I want to be," he said. "You want to build a championship with Illinois players and that's what I want to do. It's right here."
Cazley, who stands 5'10, 175-lbs, has played safety, running back and returned kicks, but is slated to play cornerback for the Illini. He says his position coach, Steve Clinkscales and head coach Tim Beckman were big reasons for his commitment.
"They have a great staff. They have that fire that I'm looking for. I was in there watching their training and they have that fire that you see in their coaches. You can see they're willing to win and looking for a championship and I see them as a family already."
Cazley's older brother Keithan Hedrick plays at Eastern Illinois and took both Dillan and younger brother Josh in, allowed them to live with him, train with him and drove them from camp to camp and junior day to junior day and Dillan knows his brother's efforts helped him reach this point.
"I can't even explain how much he's done for me. It's a blessing truly. Everything he taught me and the hard days getting up at six in the morning and working out...I love him to death. None of this would be possible without him. He said the dream you want is out there and he put me in a position to reach it."
Looking back on moving around, switching schools, training and going from obscurity to coveted recruit has Cazley smiling big today, but he also knows that with the notoriety comes more pressure and that only motivates him more.
"It feels great to get that monkey off my back and most people think it comes easy, but it's a lot of pressure because all eyes are on you now and you have to perform better than last year. This offseason and summer will be huge. If I slip up everybody's watching, and I can't let everybody down now that I just made it."