One of the hardest working prospects on the spring and summer camp scene has been Chicago Simeon linebacker Reggie Spearman, and the effort has paid off with a string of recent scholarship additions.
One of Spearman's most recent scholarship offers came from his home-state school, the Illinois Fighting Illini, last month. Following the offer, the Illini have jumped to the top of Spearman's interest list.
"It's just a big honor," Spearman said. "I was a big Illinois fan growing up, especially with former Simeon players being there like Jack Ramsey and Martez Wilson. There has always been an Illinois-Simeon connection, and it's just a great feeling having an opportunity to play for the home school and represent my state."
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Despite the Illini's current lead, Spearman says his decision will likely come in the early to mid-portions of his senior season.
"I am still going to let the whole recruiting process take place," he said. "Compared to other top athletes in this class, my recruitment started a little later. This time last year they were getting offers, taking visits and getting to know coaches better. My recruitment just started after my senior season so I'm just starting to get the feel for coaches before I make a decision."
Other schools have also piqued Spearman's interest, and following the Illini are a group of five schools: Houston, Minnesota, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Houston and Minnesota have already offered, Kentucky could be close and Vanderbilt is in regular contact. Iowa State, meanwhile, will get a chance to see Spearman live on July 20 when he heads to Ames for the Cyclones' camp.
"Iowa State is about seven hours from my house, so they just want to get me down there, get to know the players better and get to know the coaches better," Spearman said. "They just want me to show my face basically."
Earlier this month, Spearman participated with Team USA down in Texas. The Iowa State camp is the last one he has planned for the summer, but that could change.
"I'm kind of slowing down with recruiting," Spearman said. "If something big comes and someone else wants me to come down and compete, I have no problem with that. Other than that, I'm just focused on my senior season and trying to win state with my team."