"We were very excited to go to Illinois. It's a great fit, and we enjoyed being there. Coach (Ron) Zook is a great man."
The timing of Sousa's visit prevented him from speaking with quarterback coach Jeff Brohm, who was at his wife's side following surgery. But the offensive coordinator made a lasting impression on him.
"When we went on our visit, Coach Brohm wasn't there, so we talked to Coach (Paul) Petrino. He knows what he's doing. Illinois is gonna be successful in a couple more years, I know that with him there."
Sousa was in the midst of a whirlwind tour of schools and couldn't stay long. But he saw what he needed to see.
"We stayed awhile, but then we had to leave. We had another school to go visit. We didn't get to see the campus that much, but we checked out the facilities. We've taken a lot of visits and seen a lot of campuses, so it wasn't that big a difference. The facilities are great at Illinois."
Visiting a number of schools in a short amount of time can cause memories to overlap. Sousa and his coach have a plan to prevent that dilemma.
"No, because me and Coach Paradiso sit down and evaluate our visits. We write down what we think about each visit."
A Michigan scribe quoted Sousa as preferring a spread offense, but he claims that isn't the case.
"I describe myself as a dual-threat quarterback. I'm working to become a pro-style quarterback. I just want to become a quarterback that throw the ball but is also a weapon running the ball as well."
The 6'-4", 235 pounder described what he is looking for in a school.
"Academics. That's really important for me now. I'm thinking about teaching, but I'm still unsure about it. And just having great coaches around you."
Sousa and his coach have begun the weeding-out process regarding his college choice. He says distance isn't a factor.
"We've narrowed it down to the top eight schools, which are FIU, University of Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Michigan and USF."
Lake Nona fared poorly last year, but there were legitimate reasons for their showing.
"We won one game last year. But overall we did all right for a first year program. The offense should be better next year, and the defense should be a little better. We're stuck playing in a high classification, but that's no excuse. We should be able to get some wins next year."
Sousa will make his college decision long before that.
"Most likely the next two weeks. Me and Coach Paradiso will evaluate that. We hope to have a decision made by then. If not, it will be soon."