The Champaign Room Site Manager Stephen Cohn talked to Marquez Beason, Illinois Football’s first commitment for the 2019 class. They talked about Lovie Smith, positions and Illinois’ new facilities after Beason, the highest-ranked commit of the Smith Era, committed on Saturday.
Stephen Cohn: What was your visit to Illinois like over the weekend? How’d it go?
Marquez Beason: The visit was good. Lovie Smith and the entire coaching staff showed me a wonderful time around campus, and I had no complaints.
SC: Growing up in a time when Lovie was an NFL head coach, what did you know about Lovie before this process began?
MB: He’s a great coach and knows how to build a defense. He did it with the Bears, and he’s going to find a way to win.
SC: Illinois has struggled under Lovie so far — Smith has gone 5-19 over two seasons — and did that concern you at all, and what was the selling point to get you over that?
MB: Family. Family, I think. It’s a family there.
SC: You used #Illgang19 in your commitment tweet. Have you become an ambassador in the recruiting class and are talking to other potential targets?
MB: Yes, I have. I’m trying to get everybody, like Isaiah, to come to campus and at least get a visit in.
SC: One of the new features of Illinois Football is the new, rebuilt practice facility. Do you think Illinois’ facilities and trailing places are on par with major college football programs?
MB: Most definitely. The facilities going to be brand new when I’m there, and Lovie Smith and that staff is going get everything in place so it’s possible to win.
SC: Where do you think you’re going to fit in with Illinois’ defense system? Offense? Defense?
MB: I’ll play anywhere. If they need me on offense, I’ll be on offense. If they need me on defense, I’ll play defense. That’s what I’ll do.
SC: And do you have any goals for your senior season at Bishop Dunne High School?
MB: Win state. That’s the most important thing for me right now.
Beason said he plans on visiting campus again sometime in the fall, but is committed with his decision. Follow Marquez on Twitter here.