“They feel something special coming, and I feel that too,” Laughery on choosing Illinois


GIBSON CITY (WCIA) — Aidan Laughery calls himself a people pleaser, but on Wednesday night one team was going to be left disappointed. When it came down to Illinois versus Iowa, a single phone call became the decision maker. The GCMS running back ultimately decided to stay home, and commit to Illinois.

“Really having a conversation with Coach [Bielema] about myself late at night,” says Laughery. “Really realizing he’s the guy I want to play for and he’s going to care about me no matter what.”

“Just the smile on his face,” says GCMS head coach Mike Allen. “You could tell the relief that he finally made the decision. It was a touch decision for him, two great programs, but he wanted to go to Illinois and we’re excited about it.”

The Gibson City Melvin Sibley running back becomes the 14th commitment in the Class of 2022 for Illinois, and the second running back. Although the Illini can see him playing multiple roles, like slot receiver and returner. Laughery is a believer in what Bret Bielema is trying to build.

“Everybody there says they feel something special coming,” says Laughery. “I feel that too and I’m buying into that. I want to be a part of it.”

The speedster is the eighth in-state recruit in the Illini’s 2022 class. He still has his whole senior year left, already with 33 touchdowns and over 2,000 yards through three seasons. With this decision behind him — his sights are set on another state title.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to where GCMS is in football, that’s on top,” says Laughery. “That’s been our goal, that’s what we’ve been working for.”

The Falcons season gets started August 28th as they welcome Carlinville to Gibson City — the same day the Illini open their season against Nebraska.

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