Reggie Spearman Commits To The Illini

The Fighting Illini football program picked up an important in-state recruit when linebacker Reggie Spearman went public with his commitment today. The Chicago Simeon star has long favored the UI and chose to make his decision public. He also has friends the UI is recruiting, so he hopes to get some of them to join him.

Reggie Spearman is happy he chose Illinois.

"It's definitely a great feeling to be a part of the family."

The Chicago Simeon linebacker chose the occasion of his visit to Camp Rantoul to announce his decision publicly.

"I'm out here in Rantoul. It was a great practice, and everyone competed. It was definitely the best I've seen."

Spearman was asked to share what he likes about the Illini.

"I like the defense, the way they play it. I really enjoy the coaching staff, and I like the way they get physical. So it was pretty much a no-brainer."

The Illini coaching staff sees him as a linebacker.

"I can definitely play inside the box, so I might play inside the box here at Illinois. Or I might play Star or Leo. I'm gonna get a chance to prove myself."

Spearman plays all over the field for Simeon.

"I played d-end a lot last year. When we played against the 'I', I pretty much played d-end. But I also played inside the box, outside linebacker, d-tackle. I was everywhere."

He won awards at camps this summer for his play both at defensive end and linebacker. He stood out at the Nike camp against standout competition in June.

"I won the linebacker award. There was a lot of good linebackers, but what made me stand out was my pass rush, I'm always a good pass rusher. But I also went against running backs in pass protection. I competed and showed them I'm one of the top ones. It was definitely a good experience."

Simeon is loaded with talent. Might some of his teammates be considering Illinois?

"My teammates definitely favor Illinois. It's our state school, and it's the spot to be."

Former Illini linebacker star Martez Wilson was a Simeon grad, and current senior Jack Ramsey went there. But there haven't been any Simeon prospects signing with the Illini the last couple years. Is Spearman restarting the pipeline?

It's a new coaching staff, so I might be the first to see how it is."

Spearman also works out with Core 6 Athletes, and he participated in some of their 7-on-7 camps.

"We did a lot of 7-on-7 trips with Core 6. We went up to Michigan and came in second place against AWP."

He will be helping recruit several Core 6 standouts for the Illini as well.

"Since I'm an Illini, I'll definitely be in the ear of a lot of those guys. Laquon (Treadwell), we talk a lot. I don't think he's gonna make a decision anytime soon. Laquon is real picky. I talk to Laquon, Jalen Banks. I'm definitely gonna talk to those guys as soon as possible."

He has also stated his desire to see 2014 linebacker Clifton Garrett in an Illini uniform.

"Clifton Garrett is my best friend. We work out a lot, we compete all the time against each other. He looks up to me; he calls me his little brother."

Is his commitment firm?

"Illinois is definitely where I'm planning to stay right now. But I'm gonna take a couple unofficial visits and official visits. I'm definitely gonna take a visit to Houston. I've been talking to Minnesota, and some others might come up."

Spearman has always liked the Illini, and it will most likely be the school with which he signs in February.

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