Lovie Smith is planning for the future of the University of Illinois. 

NBCSports - Back in 2017, University of Illinois head coach and former Bears coach Lovie Smith offered then 10-year-old Maxwell “Bunchie” Young a scholarship to play for the Fighting Illini.

America might have found out about "Bunchie" last weekend but his name has been on recruiter's lists for a few years now. The 10-year-old was named Sports Illustrated SportsKid of the year in 2017 and that's when Lovie offered the verbal commitment for Young to attend the University of Illinois.

Formal scholarships can't be offered until August of a football senior's season but verbal offers lie in a sort of gray area.