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Insider

Douglas to play for childhood favorite

6/22/2012

Bryce Douglas (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) grew up an Illinois fan. His parents both graduated from there. So it was not a surprise that he jumped on an offer Friday.

"The Illinois coaching staff makes me feel comfortable and provides a family atmosphere, which is what I'm looking for," the 6-foot-1, 332-pound defensive tackle said. "Also great academics and alumni, and Coach G [Keith Gilmore] is like family.

"I just thank God for the opportunity, and I grew up an Illini fan. Now I'll be a part of the Fighting Illini."

Douglas senses that with the class first-year coach Tim Beckman is putting together at Illinois, the 2013 class could be looked at the one to get the Illini back in the upper half of the Big Ten.

"I want to help turn this program around, and the class Coach Beckman is bringing, we have a great chance to do that," Douglas said.

Douglas is the Illini's 12th commitment in the 2013 class and second over the last two days.

Central Michigan and Illinois State also offered. Boston College, Indiana and Nebraska were showing interest.