Solomon: 'Illinois is the right place for me'
Illinois already has one Indianapolis offensive lineman it will rely heavily upon this upcoming fall.
If Adam Solomon develops into the type of player and leader right guard Ted Karras is now, the Illinois coaches will pat themselves on the back.
Solomon became the second offensive lineman to commit to Illinois in its 2015 recruiting class, adding depth to a position of need.
The Indianapolis Bishop Chatard left tackle, who is listed at 6 feet, 6 inches and 290 pounds, took notice of the first offensive lineman Illinois nabbed in this recruiting class.
Jacksonville's Gabe Megginson, who held offers from more than 20 FBS programs, including more than half of the schools in the Big Ten.
"That's one of the reasons I took Illinois seriously," Solomon said. "A kid of his caliber committing to Illinois, that means something."
The Illinois coaches are hopeful that Solomon's commitment opens up fellow recruits' eyes, too.
While not as highly regarded as Megginson, Solomon is a three-star recruit who had offers from Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue, along with ones from Ball State, Cincinnati, Duke, Kentucky, Ohio, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.
"I really like what Illinois has going for them," said Solomon, who was mainly recruited by offensive line coach A.J. Ricker. "It's an up-and-coming program. The people they have are the ones I want to surround myself with for the rest of my life. I believe they'll help me make the most of every opportunity and help me towards success both during my football career there and after football is done. I feel that Illinois is the right place for me."
Bishop Chatard finished 9-4 last season and was two wins away from reaching the Class 4A state championship game.
The Trojans won three straight Class 3A state titles from 2010-12, and had an alum selected in the first round of the NFL draft last month when the Dallas Cowboys picked Zack Martin 16th overall.
"Getting the chance to play in the NFL one day is a goal of mine, and I believe in Coach Ricker," Solomon said. "He's a real good guy, and he's a great coach as well. He knows what he's talking about and how he wants to lead his guys."
Solomon is far from a finished product.
He understands that. And welcomes the chance to refine his technique.
"Some of my strengths are my overall strength and my foot speed," Solomon said. "That gives me a great advantage over faster, stronger guys. I know I can work on my pad level and quickness off the ball."
Solomon said he didn't have a pre-determined date in mind about when he would commit.
When the time felt right is when he decided to make his intentions known.
"It was just a matter of looking at all my options and discovering what I wanted," Solomon said. "This is a relief, and I'm glad I made the decision I did."