Illinois may never quite reach the full promised land under football coach Lovie Smith, but you can’t blame his recruiting.
Days after Illinois’ spring game, the Fighting Illini added another four-star commit in the form of elite Chicago wide receiver Jadon Thompson. The 6-foot-2, 160-pound prospect stars at Marist High School and already had 14 scholarship offers, including the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Missouri.
Thompson was Illinois’ third commitment since the spring game on Saturday, two of which (including Thompson) are ranked as four-star recruits.
Thompson was recruited by Illinois assistant Mike Bellamy, who has played a critical role in the commits the Illini have already brought home, and likely could have more influence to come.
“They told me players like me are needed here to change this program around and that they’re headed in the right direction, which I can see,” Thompson told 247Sports. I’m just trying to get everyone on board and see how we’re liking it.
“I like it. It’s a comfort level. They say we can change it here, we can change the program around. They say we’re needed. They said I have a high chance of playing early because they don’t have much depth at receiver.”
In just more than a year, Thompson will get to test that hypothesis when he heads to Champaign-Urbana. Before then, he has a junior year to finish and a senior campaign to get through at Marist.