Maybe it was just in the water this weekend?
On a banner weekend for college visits during spring practice and some early spring games, a pair of the St. Louis area’s top recruits both made their college decisions. Jordan Johnson, Missouri’s top-ranked overall prospect, was the headliner, but Trinity Catholic High School (St. Louis) running back Reggie Love also made a major impact decision.
First, Johnson. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver from De Smet High School (St. Louis) picked Notre Dame Saturday night during an official visit to the school. The nation’s No. 34 overall recruit, per 247Sports, Johnson holds 25 other scholarship offers, including opportunities at the nation’s top programs like Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and Penn State, among others.
Per some Notre Dame recruiting experts, Johnson is considered the top-rated wide receiver prospect to commit to Notre Dame during Brian Kelly’s tenure.
While Notre Dame was the ultimate choice, one of the other schools in on Johnson was Illinois, helmed by former NFL coach Lovie Smith. Missing on Johnson clearly wasn’t ideal, but the Illini did get another key target from one of Johnson’s heated rivals, Trinity Catholic.
A day after Johnson decided to head to South Bend, Trinity Catholic (St. Lous) four-star running back Reggie Love announced he would attend Illinois.
For Love, the decision to join Illinois was a simple one: He was recruited heavily by his former high school coach, who now is an assistant to Smith at Illinois.
Like Johnson, Love committed while on an official visit. And like Johnson, Love could be a program-changing talent. The running back is considered the sixth-best prospect in his home state and among the top 22 at his position nationwide. That’s a major addition for the Illini, who also boast two other four-star prospects from Trinity Catholic: four-star quarterback Isaiah Williams and four-star linebacker Shammond Cooper.
“I always feel like it’s home,” Love told 247Sports. “It’s a true blessing. They always welcome me.
“Just basically I can come in and be an impact player early. They want me to come in, play early, play as a true freshman.”
The decision by Love and Johnson significantly impacts the future outlook of both Notre Dame and Illinois’ Class of 2020. While both programs may still have plenty of work to do to compete the kind of class they truly want, the addition of one of the nation’s top running backs and wide receivers, respectively, goes a long way toward answering their biggest questions.