Florissant (MO) Hazelwood Central safety Dallas Craddieth has shown Illinois plenty of love on Twitter recently with edited photos of himself in an Illini uniform and the catchphrase “#LittyVille.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound three-star prospect said the tweets have gotten a lot of attention, and he appreciates the passion of the Illinois fan base.
“I’ve had a lot of really good responses to those,” Craddieth said. “Lots of things like ‘Go Illini’ and people telling me that I look good in orange and blue. I really like it, and it has shown that Illinois really has a lot of fan support.”
Craddieth said he is going to give Illinois serious consideration, and one major reason is because of the bond he has formed with the coaching staff.
Unlike many of the other programs recruiting him, Craddieth said Illinois is one of the few schools where he has developed a relationship with numerous coaches, including head coach Lovie Smith and assistant coaches Hardy Nickerson, Thad Ward, Donnie Abraham, and Paul Williams.
“They’re all pretty cool guys,” Craddieth said. “Coach Smith says I remind him a lot of guys he has coached in the past, and I like how Coach Ward just tries to stay up-to-date with our generation. I also like Illinois because they’re a great academic school, but what has really stuck out to me most is how much of a priority I am to the staff.”
Craddieth did not have the opportunity to watch Illinois much last season, but he plans to change that next year.
He is aware of some of the recent struggles for the program, but he also sees the opportunity that comes along with that.
“When I watch them, I will obviously pay attention to the secondary, but I want to watch and see how the team competes,” Craddieth said. “I know they’re not a top team in the Big 10 yet, but I want to see if they’re willing to compete and work hard against the top teams, because then it’ll show me that things could be turned around with the right guys in place.”
The Illini hosted Craddieth for a visit back in February, and he was pleased with the experience. In fact, it was good enough to trigger interest for another visit, which he will be taking on July 28.
“My first visit was pretty cool, because I was finally able to get to see the campus and everything,” Craddieth said. “The campus was very nice. But on my next visit, I just want to get to hang out with the coaches and continue to build on the relationships we already have.”
In May, Craddieth released a top-12 that included Illinois, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Michigan State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Ole Miss, and Missouri.
He claimed that his list has been trimmed even further, but he will not release his official top-5 until August 1.
Before then, he has a few notable events on his itinerary.
“Well, I have the Illinois visit, but I also plan to visit Ole Miss, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Alabama,” Craddieth said. “Alabama wants me to come down and do a camp there, so if I do really good I think I will leave with an offer.”
Craddieth plans to make a decision after his senior season.
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