Illinois landed their biggest recruit of the John Groce era Monday as homegrown five-star 2017 big man Jeremiah Tilmon announced his commitment to the Illini via his Twitter. He chose Illinois over a litany of big time programs like North Carolina, Michigan St. and Kansas.
After years of being the bridesmaid, but never the bride, Illinois finally landed a top in-state recruit. The collective relief of Illini fans has been palpable in the wake of Tilmon's commitment, but that good news begs one question. Where does John Groce and his staff go from here? They currently rank second in 247's 2017 team recruiting rankings with commitment's from Tilmon, four-star point guard DaMonte Williams and three-star shooting guard Javon Pickett, all who hail from Illinois. With three scholarships remaining in the Class of 2017, here are three recruits that Illinois have on their radar.
Yet another prospect from Illinois, Goodwin is a 6-foot-2, 185 pound off guard. 247 ranks him as a four-star recruit and the 48th best player in his class. With Tilmon's commitment the chances of the Illini landing Goodwin soared. Minutes after Tilmon tweeted his commitment he tweeted this.
— Jeremiah Tilmon (@jeremiahtilmon_) July 11, 2016
Goodwin shined this past week at Peach Jam, leading his pool in scoring in front of some of the top programs in the nation. Clearly, Goodwin's recruitment isn't over, but with Tilmon's commitment, the Illini should feel good about their chances of landing the four-star guard's services.
The Illini stretch their reach outside of Illinois to grab Trent Frazier, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound point guard from Florida. 247 lists Frazier as a four-star recruit and the 112th best prospect in the Class of 2017. Groce has been on Frazier for some time and Frazier has been quoted as saying Illinois are the front runners in his recruitment all the way back in April. 247's crystal ball predicts with a 100% chance that Frazier will land in Illinois, so it may not be a matter of if, but when.
With Tilmon being the only frontcourt prospect in the Illini's 2017, Groce will likely look to add to that with one of their three remaining scholarships. Negron is a 6-foot-6, 200-pound power forward. He rates as a three-star prospect by 247, as well as the 212th best recruit in his class and the eighth best player in Illinois. He is an obvious candidate for the Illini, with his home in Elgin being just a short two-and-a-half-hour drive to Champaign. He has received interest from a majority of the Big Ten, but his two suitors at this point in time seem to be Iowa and Illinois.
Illinois is putting together something special with its 2017 class. Now that they have Tilmon, the obvious question is can they keep him (see Alexander, Cliff)? If Tilmon's commitment holds true, other dominoes could start to fall for Illinois. Top recruits want to play with top recruits. Now that Illinois has one, watch Champaign reap its rewards.