Big Ten

Brad Underwood, Illini add center to 2017 recruiting class

Brad Underwood added another piece to his first recruiting class at Illinois on Tuesday.

The new Illini head coach earned the commitment of Greg Eboigbodin, a 6-foot-9 center out of Detroit who is a native of Nigeria.

Eboigbodin is the latest addition to an ever-evolving 2017 class for the Illini.

It started as a blockbuster group assembled by John Groce, but after Groce was fired in March, top-rated big man Jeremiah Tilmon asked out of his Letter of Intent, as did guard Javon Pickett. Four-star guards Trent Frazier and Da'Monte Williams, recruited by Groce, stuck with Underwood, and the new head coach landed the state's top high school player, four-star guard Mark Smith, to once again make this an impressive class.

Eboigbodin fills Illinois' big-time need for a big man. The departures of Maverick Morgan and Mike Thorne Jr., plus Tilmon's decision to not come to Champaign, left the Illini without an ideal option at center. Michael Finke is the tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-10, but he's more of an outside player. Leron Black is a tenacious power forward but just 6-foot-7, not your typical center.

Per Illini Inquirer, new Illinois assistant Chin Coleman played a big role in bringing Eboigbodin to Champaign. Coleman used to coach at UIC, where Eboigbodin was previously signed.