Last week, George McDonald officially returned to his alma mater. Bret Bielema hired the former Illinois star to coach the wide receivers for the upcoming 2021 season as the program assembled its new staff.

Monday, McDonald met with the media to discuss his return to Illinois after spending the last six years at North Carolina State. There’s no question he’s excited to be back in Champaign.

“It’s awesome to be back,” McDonald said, per Jeremy Werner of Illini Inquirer. “My blood is in the bricks. …it means a lot to be back.”

McDonald also expressed gratitude to Bielema for bringing him back to be a member of the Fighting Illini staff, and said that he believed the former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach was the right man for the job when Lovie Smith was fired back in December.

A major part of Bielema’s focus is on the recruiting trail. McDonald says that there’s a specific type of player he’s looking to bring to Illinois.

“We’re looking for guys who want to work really hard and everyday you’re trying to be the best version of yourself,” he said.

McDonald returns to Illinois, where he was a wide receiver with the Fighting Illini for four seasons. He totaled 57 catches for 589 yards and 4 touchdowns and was also a threat in the return game, fielding 57 kickoffs for 1,276 yards.