OrangeandBlueNews - Illinois in top group for 3-star running back
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Illinois in top group for 3-star running back

Three-star running back Ivory Kelly-Martin is working on getting faster this offseason at Oswego (Ill.) East — and one of the big ways he’s doing that, is competing in track and field.

“Track is going well. I feel myself getting faster every day. We only have a couple more weeks of indoor track left then outdoor starts up,” Kelly-Martin said.

Of course, recruiting hasn’t slowed down for the 5-11, 195-pound prospect.

“Schools are showing a lot of interest but it is very time consuming. I do want to bring it to an end and make a decision before senior year,” Kelly-Martin said.

With offers from schools all over the country, Kelly-Martin has several at the top of his list, including the Illini.

“Some of the schools that are up there are Arizona, Iowa, Illinois, Syracuse, Western Michigan and New Mexico,” Kelly-Martin said. “But I still have a lot of research to do. I’m also still working on visits as they come up because of my track schedule which is going to make it a little harder especially with schools that are farther away.”

He’s already had the chance to chat with new Illini head coach Lovie Smith a conversation he was pretty excited about.

“I’m excited I had a chance to talk to Lovie Smith for the first time Thursday. And he was really excited about it also,” Kelly-Martin said.

He added, “So, I’m really looking forward to building a relationship with him and some of the other new staff.”

The content of the conversation? Interesting for Kelly-Martin as well.

“He was telling me how he’s always thought Illinois could be a top program and that’s his vision of what he wants them to be,” Kelly-Martin said. “He’s bringing in a lot of coaches who are really experienced and know how to win. He also talked about how great of a fit I would be for the program and be a centerpiece of that Illinois football team.”