Three-star defensive end Steve Matas made a trip to Illinois for their game on Saturday. Before leaving, the 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end out of Mentor, Ohio gave his verbal pledge to the Illini.
"I was actually up at Illinois for an unofficial," he said. "I committed to coach Warriner on Saturday and then talked to the other coaches after that. They were definitely happy about my decision and really excited for me."
What made Matas select Illinois over offers from Cincinnati, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and others?
Article Continues Below
"I went there to see the game and I had been thinking about committing there previously," he said. "I wanted to see the game atmosphere and confirm what I was doing and when I was there I just felt at home and very comfortable with the coaching staff. Illinois was really a place I felt like I fit in at.
"I particularly liked coach Sims, the defensive line coach. He reminds me a lot of some of my past coaches that I've worked with. I also liked coach Zook. He seems like a great guy and I look forward to working with him."
The coaches didn't get into too much depth about playing time, but they do have a need for the No. 38 prospect from Ohio.
"They didn't talk about it too much, basically saying it all depends on how I perform once I get there," he said. "I did look at their depth charts and they have a couple seniors graduating and those spots need to be filled. Hopefully I can come in right away."