RANTOUL — Reggie Spearman didn't have to drive to Camp Rantoul on Tuesday. He could have called Tim Beckman today and told him he was making a commitment to the Illinois football program. But the Chicago Simeon linebacker wanted to do it in person.
"I wanted to come down here and watch the practice," Spearman said. "Once I got the OK from my dad and my family, it was pretty much a no-brainer."
Spearman, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com, picked the Illini over Houston, Minnesota, Indiana and others.
"This is my home-state school," Spearman said. "It doesn't get any better than this. I definitely like the new coaching staff. (Tim) Beckman, he seems real trustworthy, and I really like my position coach (Mike Ward) a lot."
Spearman is aware of the connection between Illinois and Simeon. Current Illini defensive back Jack Ramsey was a star quarterback at Simeon. And former Illini linebacker Martez Wilson was a standout at the school.
"Our school has a good history with Illinois," Spearman said. "They've treated us right in the past."
Now that he is joining the Illini, Spearman plans to work on some of his buddies, including Crete-Monee receiver Laquon Treadwell.
"We talk a lot," Spearman said. "I don't think he's thinking about making a decision any time soon. Laquon is real picky."
Spearman is also close friends with Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett, considered a top prospect in the Class of 2014.