Illinois went out of the country to grab a defensive end. The Illini picked up a commitment over the holidays from Montreal (Can.) Vieux School prospect Renaldo Sagesse, but it wasn't until the last few days that the 6-foot-4, 320-pounder actually talked to Ron Zook.
"I committed just after Christmas to Reggie Mitchell," he said. "He really wanted me and I told him I was committing and then he said Illinois will be a great place for me.
"I just talked to coach Zook in the last couple days. He was very happy too. He thinks I'm a good fit and I'll have a great time there. He told me how he brought a lot of the players into Florida that helped them win the national championship and he thinks it's just a matter of time until he does the same at Illinois."
What sold the three-star lineman on heading to Champaign?
"I had been recruited by Illinois for the past year and a half and they were the first school to give me a chance to go to the states," he said. "I took that into account along with the good situation on the defensive line where I'll have a chance to play early and it was a good fit. I can say the chance to play early and work with Tom Sims played a big part in my decision.
"He told me I'll have a chance to play immediately, but I'll have to earn it and prove myself on the field. I'm really looking forward to going there and helping them get back to being a good team. I know they were good a few years back."
Sagesse plans to study business when he gets to Illinois. He chose the Illini over interest from Wisconsin and others.