I think you defined it well. You admire and respect this person and see him as someone you’d like to know better. You don’t need to complicate it more than that. Not every attraction is romantic. Mutual admiration and respect are the basis of the very best friendships. Every now and then, people are lucky enough to run into a fascinating person like this guy who adds a new dimension to life and experiences. I encourage you to find a way to spend more time with him to get to know him better. Start small. Join in on an activity he is involved in. Ask for help with an assignment. Over time you will find out if your initial impression is correct.
I wish you well.