Tampa Catholic linebacker Tre Watson will keep his diary for each week, and give us a perspective on the recruiting trail. His mother, Christa Phillips-Watson - will also contribute from a parent's perspective.
Here is entry number 1 - a trip to Illinois.
Wow! I've been waiting for this trip for so long now. I couldn't wait to get up there and see the place, the city, the campus, meet the coaches I've been getting to know for the past few months!
Monday-Almost missed my flight because I woke up late, but mom came in clutch, so it was all good! To top off my morning, my flight got changed. Just when I thought things might be going wrong, I got the first class upgrade AND a non-stop flight! I was thinking this might be a good sign, I guess I'll see when I get there.
Tuesday- Got a good rest in. It's finally time to check out The University of Illinois! Coach (Marcus) Berry seems like a really cool guy. Met the and the staff before the tour began.
First stop, the stadium... gotta be honest, the stadium is AMAZING!!! The new Jumbo-tron is sick, to think I might end up on that screen one day. Wow, that's unreal.
Next, we checked out the brand new dorm rooms that will open for my freshman year, that's sweet. Seems like they are building brand new stuff all over the place on the campus. Can't forget one, if not THEE most important element for me, they have a brand new dining hall!!! Yeah buddy!
The University of Illinois is the 8th ranked public university, I had no idea. Well respected engineering and medical programs too!
The fighting Illini have a really pretty indoor practice facility... Good thing too since it rained all day. Let's just say that the weight room is ridiculous, I felt like I was getting stronger just standing in there! It sucked that I couldn't see the locker room, I guess I'll see it when I come back for my official!!! Yep, I need to set that up soon! I WILL BE BACK!
Anyone who knows me, knows I believe that if you look great you play great! So THE GEAR...that's what I was anxious to see. Found out they're getting fresh new unis next year... my freshman year... that's what I'm talking about! All I gotta say is... Chrome!!!
All in all... the place was incredible! The opportunity to be a part of the history, Dick Butkus, Simeon Rice, Kevin Hardy...some of the game's greatest players(especially linebackers) doesn't come often and is an honor. I think the best part about it is how genuine they are with everything they do. They know where they have been and where they want to go. I might want to be a part of that, well, I guess we will just see what happens...God is Good!