Daniel Helm picked up his first offer from Illinois this summer and the 2014 Illinois tight end has heard from several other schools since.
Stanford has requested the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder’s transcripts. Northwestern wanted him to visit, but the Glenwood High School junior wasn’t able to. Duke has been doing a great job forming a relationship with the Chatham, Ill., native. Illinois and Indiana stopped by his school this month and he spoke with Tennessee last week.
Other schools including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington and UCLA have also shown interest, but Helm is hoping it’ll pick up over the next few months.
“It’s a little quiet right now, but I think it might heat up a little more after signing day because I know a lot of schools are trying to secure seniors right now,” he said.
He was proud to pick up the offer from the Illini.
“It was really nice to get that,” he said. “Illinois is a great school. It’s the hometown school and I know it’s great academically.”
Helm has taken note of Notre Dame’s amazing 2012 season.
“They send me a lot of mail,” he said. “They‘re having a great season this year and I know they threw a lot to their tight end. I know they’re a great program, great history.
“I wasn’t able to get to a game this year, so I don’t know what it’s like on campus. It’s definitely accessible. I might go to a one-day summer camp or something. I don’t know if they’d want me earlier than that.”
Helm is coming off an impressive junior season in which he showed his versatility.
“I’m used as a wide receiver, slot and tight end,” he said. “I think I caught around 45 balls for about 800 yards and 17 touchdowns. I can go up and get it. My hands are pretty good, so I love to catch the ball. I think my speed is pretty decent, but that always need work.
“I’m not afraid to stick my nose in there. When it comes to blocking, I’m going to give you my full effort every time and try to get that guy out of the way.”
It’s evident from the schools he’s receiving interest from that Helm places a premium on academics.
“It is pretty important to me,” he said. “It’s probably not as important as it should be sometimes, but I know eventually I’m going to have to stop playing this game. Hopefully I’ll get to play a little bit after college, but when I stop, I want to be able to be on the right track. I take my studies pretty seriously and I’m working hard in school right now.”
There will be other factors in Helm’s eventual decision as well.
“The first one would be how much they throw to their tight ends,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of those tight ends who is just blocking 80 percent of the time.”
Helm will also be looking at each school’s strength and conditioning and nutrition programs. When he’s evaluating schools, he’ll be looking for a supportive relationship with the coaching staff.