- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
His breath escaped him. When Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) heard the offers every recruit wants to hear, he almost lost it in Illinois coach Tim Beckman’s office.
“I was freaking out in Coach Beckman’s office,” the 2014 defensive end said.
Thompson and his teammate Simmie Cobbs made the visit down to Illinois and began the visit with a picture with Beckman. The two went off to play some video games with the team when assistant Tim Banks told Thompson to go back to Beckman’s office.
“When I got in and he said I had an offer I freaked out and I couldn’t breathe a little bit,” Thompson said.
The Illini previously hosted Thompson for a junior day last year when Thompson was just a sophomore. His coach at Montini Catholic encouraged Thompson to go, as he was one of the better sophomores in the Chicago area.
Thompson had an idea the Illini might offer based on how frequently the coaches were at Montini Catholic recently. His teammate Nile Sykes already had an Illinois offer.
“They love my size, have a good frame they can make even better and like how relentless I am in my pass rush,” Thompson said.
Although it is Thompson’s first offer, he said the Illini will undoubtedly be there until the end of his recruitment.
“They’ll honestly be in my top six without a doubt,” he said.
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin are also among the schools Thompson likes. Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson was in the school Tuesday and Spartans assistant Dan Roushar was in recently as well. He will visit Ohio State in the spring.
“I can’t wait to see all the facilities,” Thompson said of Ohio State. “Coach [Mike] Vrabel seems like a I guy I want to play for with his pro background and everything.”
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Thompson said he is being recruited as a strongside defensive end.
448dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert