On Wednesday evening, the Illinois Fighting Illini got huge news on the recruiting trail as 2017 prospect opted to commit to the Illini over a multitude of other suitors. It was new head coach Brad Underwood’s first pickup since coming to Champaign.
Smith is widely considered to be one of the nation’s top recruits. He is rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 74 player in the country. Smith is also one of the best players in the state of Illinois, coming in as the fourth best player in the state according to 247Sports.
With Smith’s commitment, Illinois now has three commitments in its 2017 recruiting class, including two four-star prospects. The class is rated No. 29 in the country and as the third-best in the Big Ten.
Simply put, this is a huge pickup for Underwood and his staff. Not only is it huge to add a top 100 prospect in your first few weeks on the job, but to do it over programs like Duke, Michigan State, Missouri, and Ohio State is certainly impressive. Smith had plenty of quality options and still choose to come to Champaign.
Illinois will still have some work do on the recruiting trail in the weeks to come, especially given that the program still has three open scholarships, but Smith is certainly a great start. It will now be up to Underwood and his staff to close out the roster in the weeks to come with some quality options.