Illinois football assistant Vic Koenning placed a call to Indianapolis Scecina Memorial High School kicker Ryan Frain Saturday. Koenning confirmed the Illini were offering him a full scholarship to be a placekicker for the Illini. Frain knew what he wanted and accepted immediately.
"Illinois came through with a scholarship offer, and I accepted it. I was ecstatic. I'm still very excited and happy."
Frain was pursued by a number of excellent programs. He analyzed each situation before choosing the Illini.
"I had other schools in mind, IU, Ohio State, Cincinnati and other schools. I went down to visit Indiana last weekend when they played Northwestern. I loved the campus. It really came down to Indiana and Illinois.
"Ohio State told me last summer that they had a scholarship to offer, and I was among their top picks. But they were gonna wait until their investigation was over before they made any decisions. I put that in the back of my head.
"At Indiana, special teams coach Mark Hagen wanted me to come play for them. He loved me. I came down and kicked for him last summer. They needed a punter. When he heard Illinois wanted me to come play for him with a scholarship, he realized he had to offer me a scholarship.
"The words out of his mouth were, 'I wish I had a scholarship to offer you right now.' Coach (Kevin) Wilson wants a real competitive environment, and that's why he wanted me to come in and compete and potentially earn it by beating out their punter. That was really the seal for me picking Illinois over Indiana."
Logic wasn't the only reason Frain preferred the Illini. His heart was sold also.
"I went down to visit Illinois last year when I was a junior, and it was my favorite of the schools I went to. I went to probably six or seven games including schools like Michigan State, Purdue and IU. They just wowed me. I'm really impressed; I love that place.
"I had in mind what I would do the whole time. If Indiana, Ohio State and Illinois all offered scholarships, I would have picked Illinois over the other two."
Scecina continues to advance in the Indiana state playoffs.
"We are 9-3 now, and we're playing for a regional championship. We won sectionals last Friday. We play North Vermilion next. We hope to have three more games, regionals, semi-state and state."
Frain has punted well and has been perfect on extra points in the playoffs, but his field goal prowess hasn't been needed.
"I pray for those opportunities, but I hope my team can stick it out. I think that we can, we won our sectional championship 49-0."
Frain has several career choices in mind, and he will have time to choose while at Illinois.
"I plan to enter school in General Studies. From there I'm branch out. I'm not sure what I want to study. I enjoy Engineering, I like Business, I like Criminal Justice. General Studies is what the coaches suggested because you could get credits for courses you can use when you decide to change."
The Illini will see him frequently the rest of the year.
"I'm coming down to the Michigan game, and I plan on coming to the Wisconsin game. And then they told me they want me to come in (for an official visit) after their season is over."