TUSCOLA — Hunter Woodard grew up going to Illini games so getting a scholarship offer to play for Lovie Smith and the Illinois football team was a moment the rising Tuscola junior won’t forget anytime soon.
“It was really awesome,” Woodard said. “I’ve been waiting for it for awhile and now that I finally have it, it feels awesome.”
Woodard is a 6-foot-5, 295 pound offensive lineman who has Power 5 offers from Oklahoma State and Syracuse, along with Illinois. His stock rose considerably after he finished in the top five percent in the nation at the Nike combine camp in Chicago a few weeks ago. Woodard has been hearing from dozens of schools since, he will visit Iowa this weekend. He will also likely take visits to North Carolina, Arkansas and Nebraska but Illinois is a place that means a lot to him.
“I’ve grown up with my family and friends loving the U of I and going to games so it would definitely be special,” he said. “It’s awesome picturing myself there in the orange and blue and it just seems like it’d be really special.”