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Friday, January 25, 2013
Illini family atmosphere impresses Bunting

By Jared Shanker

WESTMONT, Ill. -- Junior tight end Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) has three offers, and the program to offer most recently is making a big impression.

Bunting visited Illinois for a basketball game recently and spent some time with Illini football coach Tim Beckman. Before he had to leave, Beckman pulled the in-state tight end aside to let him know the Illini were offering.

“He was talking about how the Illinois team is like a family, which is important to me, and he said I had an offer from Illinois,” Bunting said.

Beckman has stressed family to several recruits in the 2013 and 2014 class, and it is making an impression, especially on the 2014 prospects. The Illini struggled to keep the state’s top players in 2013, so Beckman is looking to fix that in 2014.

Bunting is not making a decision yet, but the Illini will be a factor in his recruitment along with Purdue and Vanderbilt, which also offered.

“They really emphasize family, and that’s one of the most important things about a football team,” Bunting said.

The next junior day visit for Bunting will come on Sunday when he goes to Indiana. Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson was at Bunting’s school Tuesday.