Class 7A IHSA state champion East St. Louis has been a hub of recruiting activity over the past few weeks and will remain busy until National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
East St. Louis All-State safety James Knight (5-foot-10, 198 pounds) gave head coach Lovie Smith and Illinois his verbal commitment on Monday.
"It's right next to home and I like their coaching staff," Knight said. "I really like coach Smith and their program. It feels like home for me."
Four-star ranked wide receiver Jeff Thomas (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) released his Top 5 schools on Twitter and plans to announce his college decision on Feb. 1.
Thomas made an official visit to Illinois, but canceled a planned visit to Louisville last weekend because of poor weather in the area. Thomas has one more official visit planned to Miami this weekend and mentioned Oregon and Tennessee on his list.
On Wednesday, East St. Louis two-star ranked quarterback Rey Estes (6-foot-0, 161 pounds) announced that he was giving Minnesota his verbal commitment.
Estes was originally committed to Missouri but decided to reopen his recruiting.
One local player to keep tabs on is Oak Park-River Forest senior wide receiver Jared Scott (6-foot-6, 215 pounds). Scott has been impressive on the hardwood for the Huskies, and has also seen his football recruiting stock take off with a few weeks left before National Signing Day. Scott has added football scholarship offers from Western Michigan and Wyoming, while several FCS schools have shown late recruiting interest.
Johnsburg All-State running back Alex Peete (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) had a handful of DII scholarship offers on the table, but earlier this week decided to give DIII football powerhouse University of Wisconsin-Whitewater his verbal commitment.
"I just really like the coaches at UW Whitewater," Peete said. "They kept recruiting me hard and I also just feel very comfortable at Whitewater. UWW has a great winning tradition and I want to get a chance to play for national championships. The combination of athletics and academics at Whitewater along with being a bit closer to home really was the biggest difference for me."