It hasn't been a bad run for Dallas Hinkhouse. The offensive tackle's December started with a junior college national championship. He followed that up with a verbal commitment to Illinois on Monday and he's slated to graduate from Iowa Western Community College on Tuesday.
Only the fictional guy with the white beard and red suit has been busier. You won't catch Hinkhouse complaining, though.
"I guess you could say it's been hectic," Hinkhouse said. "But it's been fun. I'm kind of going out with a bang here at Iowa Western."
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As for what sold him on the Illini, Hinkhouse says that's simple. Turns out, there's still something to be said for the full-court recruiting press.
"It's big-time ball in the Big 10," Hinkhouse said. "The one thing that really sold me is how persistent the coaches there have been in recruiting me. Coach [Luke] Butkus came up her about four or five times, along with coach [Tim] Beckman. I just could really tell I was needed there."
The most recent visit from Butkus came on Monday afternoon. Something during the resulting conversation prompted Hinkhouse to get his recruitment over with. A commitment was made and the Iowa Western lineman became part of the Illini program.
No official visit needed. No more questions asked.
"I'm actually visiting there next weekend," Hinkhouse said. "I was going to wait until after my visit to commit, but after talking to my coaches here, they told me just to go ahead and take care of it."
His Dec. 14 visit to Champagne will now have a different feel. Hinkhouse will transition from recruited to recruiter. The target? Iowa Western guard Mike Smithburg, who will accompany Hinkhouse on his trip.
"He's considering Illinois and Kansas, so now I'll have to put the push on him," Hinkhouse said. "Hopefully, we can be an offensive line duo going down there."