Originally I had been optimistic about Illinois' chances of landing four-star cornerback Parrker Westphal. The main reason for this optimism was that Westphal goes to Bolingbrook, the same high school that Illini commit Aaron Bailey attended. I had hoped that Bailey could work some magic in helping convince the 6-foot, 186-pound corner to come to Champaign.
That optimism waned over the last few months as Westphal has seemed far more interested in schools like Michigan and Vanderbilt. However, there is once again a glimmer of hope, as Westphal is down to nine schools -- he has scholarship offers from 21 schools, including just about the entire Big Ten -- and Illinois is one of them.
Westphal told Rivals.com his final nine are Illinois, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Florida and Michigan and Ohio State. He also said he's not going to be making a decision before the fall, and even that may be too early.
Now, I'm still not optimistic that Westphal is going to end up in Champaign, but it's nice to see that we're in his final nine. As long as we've got our foot in the door we've got a chance, and hopefully Aaron Bailey will be on the phone with his old teammate often.