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Preps recruiting: Illinois adds first 2019 in-state commitment

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Preps recruiting: Illinois adds first 2019 in-state commitment

Bloomington two star ranked tight end Griffin Moore (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) decided to give Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith his early verbal commitment. 

"The coaching staff (at Illinois) has been great to me," Moore said. "I haven't met a coach at Illinois that I don't like yet, plus I've always wanted to play at Illinois. Other recruits are really buying in so I'm trying to help get the football program back to the top."

Illinois has been very aggressive so far in recruiting the 2019 in-state class, having extended 18 verbal scholarship. The Fighting Illini have been very active in attracting the attention of several top names and have drawn positive feedback from several of those offered in-state names so far this winter. 

Moore is the first known in-state commitment and the second known overall in the Fighting Illini Class of 2019. Moore joins Dallas Bishop Dunne four star ranked Marquez Beason (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) in the Illinois 2019 recruiting class. Beason is ranked as the 79th best recruit in the nation according to the latest Rivals 100 Nation Recruit Rankings for the Class of 2019. 

Recruiting news and notes: State's top 2019 recruit gets offer from Alabama


Recruiting news and notes: State's top 2019 recruit gets offer from Alabama

Phillips junior cornerback Joseph Thompson has narrowed his list of favorite schools to four and could very well make his verbal commitment soon.

Thompson has narrowed things down to Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Illinois and Toledo. Thompson has made on-campus unofficial visits to each school, and his most recent visit was Illinois, where he came away impressed with the Fighting Illini.

"I was talking to coach Lovie (Smith)," Thompson told OrangeandBlueNews.com publisher Doug Buschon. "And he now has all his guys on his staff. They talked about getting back into the city. They are doing a good job of that. Also, it's a top-10 school, academic wise. I really like that."

Phillips tight end Jahleel Billingsley released a list of his top seven schools earlier this week on Twitter.

Billingsley named Illinois, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Florida and TCU as his top seven. Billingsley is expected to make more spring campus visits and could wind up making an early verbal commitment either this spring or early this summer.

Crystal Lake South junior offensive tackle Trevor Keegan is now up to 25 scholarship offers and added what might be his biggest offer earlier this week from Alabama.

Keegan, the state's top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2019, according to the latest Rivals.com national top 250 rankings, is also expected to make a verbal commitment in spring or summer.

If you are watching this weekend's IHSA Class 4A boys basketball state final games, keep an eye on Belleville West junior Keith Randolph Jr. He played football at the high school level for the first time in 2017 and has 13 scholarship offers, including ones from Illinois, Northern Illinois and multiple MAC schools. Belleville West standout junior E.J. Liddell, who is highly sought after in basketball recruiting circles, has also been on the football-recruiting radar for the last few years.

Bolingbrook CB Cameron Mitchell commits to Northwestern


Bolingbrook CB Cameron Mitchell commits to Northwestern

Bolingbrook three star ranked junior cornerback Cameron Mitchell (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) decided to give the Northwestern Wildcats his verbal commitment Tuesday night. 

"Northwestern gives you the best of both worlds'" Mitchell said. "It's the best of the best in education and I'll also get to play football in the best conference in college football. It doesn't get any better than that."

So what type of player are the Northwestern Wildcats getting in Cameron Mitchell?

"I just love him as a player," Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow said. "It's really everything that Cameron has to offer. He's such a strong kid both academically and athletically that I'm happy that he's going to a school that will fit him perfectly. He's one of the strongest students academically I've ever coached."