Illinois hosted many top prospects from across the midwest for it’s Friday night lights camp. The Illini have many priorities for their 2019 and 2020 classes, it’s been no secret 4 star 2019 LB Shammond Cooper from Trinity Catholic tops that list.

He made his way to Champaign for the camp with teammates Ira Henry, Bryce Childress and Isaiah Williams among others. I caught up with him about his summer visits and thoughts on the Illinois program.

In his words with Shammond Cooper

With having Oklahoma, Clemson and Oregon on Shammond’s coattails, I wanted to know what helps Illinois stay neck and neck with heavyweights of the highest sort in college football.

Shammond told me “The family atmosphere everytime I come here, and to be honest, this coaching staff knows football and has played at the highest level. They have All pro experience, Super bowl coaches, guys who have been in trenches and been succesfull on and off the field.”

To continue with that dialogue, I asked if he believes this staff can win and turn the program around.

“Yes, it takes a couple classes to get the players you want. Coach is working on finishing his second full class. These guys will have Illinois winning soon.”

On Shammonds visit schedule, he told me he will visit more schools later this summer and possible fall.

Shammond told me “I plan on visiting Oregon, Oklahoma and Clemson. No more camps but I will be using all my official visits. Oklahoma likely in the fall. Everytime I come to Champaign it feels like an official visit, I know ill be back at some point.”

My final question was about playing time being important early.

Cooper said “I definitely want to come in and play as a freshman, but I am not opposed to working hard and earning my keep. I know a lot of playing time will be up for grabs in 2019 here at LB. The staff tells me they need me, not want me they need me.”

Swami’s Take

Illinois has made Shammond feel at home in Champaign and he knows they need him. Playing with Isaiah Williams and Bryce Childress is something they talk about but it won’t be Shammonds deciding factor. Even having Cory Patterson helps but he told me he is making the decision that best fits for him.

Illinois is doing everything they can to add Shammond and I feel they are in a good spot but it will come down to the wire with Oklahoma. I expect a fall decision for Shammond. This is big boy recruiting, part of building a winning program

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