Mount Carmel running back Matt Domer said he wants to go to a place where he can make an impact and be a part of something big.
Tuesday, Domer chose to stay in state by verbally committing to the University of Illinois. He chose the Fighting Illini over Indiana, Kansas and Syracuse.
"They have got some good kids from in state and I wanted to be a part of that," Domer said. "The coaches told me I would have a chance to make an impact right away and I like that. I want to and think I can play right away."
The Fighting Illini were 2-10 last year and 0-8 in the Big Ten Leaders Division. Regardless, Domer said he had a special feeling when he was on campus at on Zuppke Field at Memorial Stadium.
"When I was down there visiting, I knew this is the place where I wanted to be," Domer said. "I know a lot of the (incoming) freshman and I remember someone telling me, 'Choose the school that wants you as much or as more as you want them.' I felt that way with Illinois. The coaches called me and made me feel welcome, made my parents feel welcome."
Domer is the third Mount Carmel player to commit to a Big Ten school. Enoch Smith Jr. has committed to Michigan State and Steven Richardson to Minnesota.
A Times all-area first-team pick, Domer rushed for 1,365 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. He also caught eight passes for 65 yards in helping lead the Caravan to the Class 8A state title.
"I had a good feeling with both the head coach (Tim Beckman) and my position coach (running backs coach Tim Salem)," Domer said. "The school is close enough so my mom and dad can come and see all my home games."
Mount Carmel coach Frnak Lenti said it is a good fit for Domer.
"I think he will be challenged both athletically and in the classroom," Lenti said. "It is a good academic school and it is an in-state school. We have had a lot of success with our players going to Illinois."