According to many, Middletown, Ohio, cornerback Cody Quinn is underrated. Quinn, who is 5'-10" and 165 pounds, uses a combination of skills to make plays in the defensive backfield.
"I bring speed and toughness. I like to come up and hit, and I'm quick and fast and have good ball skills."
Quinn burst onto the recruiting scene in recent months but didn't always get the same attention prior to that time. The ebb and flow of that process, however, brought him to Illinois, where he verbally committed Monday.
"As far as recruiting, it started off a little slow, but then I started getting offers and it started to slow down a little more. Once school let out, it picked back up, and I got around to visit a couple schools, narrow things down, and Illinois seemed like the best fit for me."
Illinois defensive backs coach Mike Gillhamer was one of several reasons for the decision.
"Well, it's numerous things. The depth chart and being able to play early was one thing. When I went up there, everyone was friendly. Everyone on the campus treated me like they knew me. The coaches were great too, especially the DB coach who used to be with the Carolina Panthers. So I'll get some NFL level coaching, and it's a good conference too."
With school out for the summer, Quinn was able to make a trip to Illinois, and his visit sealed the deal for him. But much of the groundwork was laid by Coach Jeff Brohm prior to his visit.
"I visited last Friday, so it was just recently. I met up with Coach Brohm. At first, things with him were kind of slow in the recruiting process, but he gave me a call and it sparked my interest in Illinois. "And then communication just picked up, and our relationship started to build. He talked me into visiting and I loved it, so that helped lead me to committing."
Quinn also had heavy interest from two other major schools, one in the Big East and one in the SEC. Ultimately, Illinois stood head and shoulders above the rest.
"Kentucky and West Virginia were the other main ones. Basically, it was some of the same things as far as atmosphere and things like that. If I get hurt, I could still have a good degree. But Illinois stuck out above those two."
Originally, Quinn hadn't planned to commit so soon. However, after discussion with his family, he felt like the time was right to make his decision.
"My dad and my family were talking and decided to start narrowing things down. I didn't really let too many people know about which schools I liked and didn't like.
"Then I kind of just sped things up because I didn't want to wait too long and lose my spot and go somewhere else. I still planned on committing by the end of the summer anyway."
Any chance he keeps his options open? Don't bet on it.
"I'm solid and shutting it down."
Though he didn't really get a chance to meet any of the Illini players extensively during his visit, Quinn was already familiar with two Cincinnati area teammates for Illinois.
Now that his decision is out of the way, Quinn can shift his focus to the rest of his high school career. He has set some lofty goals for himself already.
"I want to improve my technique. There's always something to learn. I want to get better and hopefully win a state championship before I leave high school."
So what does Quinn intend to bring to the Illini? Cornerback is a fast position for Illinois that features numerous track stars. Quinn certainly has the speed to keep up with the pack.
"I think speed, definitely. I have toughness and good work ethic. And I have a drive to win. I haven't run a 40 since my sophomore year, but I ran a 4.41. I'm definitely faster now."