Devin Langford Commits to Fighting Illini

It is finally official. Huntsville, Alabama, combo guard Devin Langford confirmed today what he has been saying for awhile now. He is committed to attend the University of Illinois on a basketball scholarship. The Illini have one of the top ten recruiting classes in the country enrolling next fall, one player for each of the five positions.

Lee High School star Devin Langford will attend Illinois. The slender but athletic 6'-7" star is capable of playing point guard or either wing position in college. His versatility is especially attractive to the Illini coaching staff. His passing ability and overall court awareness are major assets, and he has a sweet shooting stroke extending to the three point line.

Langford explained his decision.

"I feel I fit into the system. I know the coaches on the team well, and I feel like it's a good place for me. I made three visits, one to Illinois, one to Auburn and one to Georgia. I just feel like it's best for me."

Langford, who will sign with the Illini in April, becomes part of a standout five-member class that includes center Nnanna Egwu, forwards Mike Shaw and Mycheal Henry, and guard Tracy Abrams. He looks forward to a future with that group.

"Yeah, I feel all of us together can be pretty good, plus the players from last year too."

Langford played against Henry and his Chicago Orr team in last Saturday's Shootout At The Hall. He feels he can blend well with Henry.

"I feel we can play together pretty good. I feel like we can bond together on the court."

Langford wanted badly to showcase his talent for Illinois fans last weekend, but he was sick. His coach Greg Brown considered not playing him at all.

"When we came into this matchup, I was kind of scared about it a little bit. Devin's been kind of under the weather all night. We've just been trying to pump him with fluids. He said he wanted to play no matter what, but he didn't have the energy he usually has.

"I hated to come this far and not let him play, but he didn't have his typical Devin game. The kids react to him, and he just didn't have that energy. Hopefully we can get him back and feeling a little bit better."

Brown said he and the Langford family trust the Illini coaches.

"I think Bruce Weber is by far one of the best coaches in the game today, and we like him as a person. He's a man of his word. The parents are really comfortable with him.

"(Jerrance) Howard got us in touch with him, and ever since then he's been coming down and watching Devin play. He's always the same person, and Devin just really likes him. His parents really like him a lot too. All of that together makes for a good decision."

There was some concern about distance from home and how Langford would fit in, but Weber's reputation won the day according to Brown.

"When you are going to a good program and making a big decision, (it's important to) know that the head coach is going to take care of a kid, and how well he treats kids, even after they go on. We've researched that and when they go on, Coach Weber still has a relationship with those kids. You can't beat that, and distance can't matter in that situation."

With the final piece to the puzzle in place, Illinois coaches will now focus their attention on 2012 and beyond. The future of the Fighting Illini basketball team is bright, but recruiting never stops.

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