Illini Get Commitment From JC Receiver

The Fighting Illini football program finally broke the ice on wide receiver recruiting by gaining a commitment from Martize Barr. The former Washington D.C. athlete attends Iowa Western Community College and plans to enroll for second semester.

Martize Barr has confirmed he will be attending Illinois beginning second semester.

"I think it's a perfect situation for me. I plan to go up there and make some plays. I like the offense that they run, and I'm real cool with the coaches."

Barr is originally from Washington, D.C., playing ball at Coolidge High School. Illini assistant coach Chris Beatty has known him since then.

"Coach Beatty spoke to me a few times (in high school), but he didn't give me an offer. He's my recruiter now."

Barr describes the odyssey that preceded his decision to attend Illinois.

"I went to New Mexico, where I redshirted a year and played a year. Then I transferred to Iowa Western. I will have two years of eligibility for the Illini."

He showed versatility last year with the Lobos.

"I played defense the first four games, then I went back to wide receiver and did good. I did whatever they wanted me to do."

Barr looks forward to this upcoming season at Iowa Western.

"I'm starting at wide receiver. We're gonna win a national championship before I go to Illinois."

The 6'-0", 190 pounder says he's a playmaker.

"I can get open. Whatever is needed to be done, I can do it. I can block, I can run, whatever is needed in a wide receiver set."

The Communications major will practice with the Illini next spring. He expects big things from himself and his new team.

"I'm coming up there to make some plays. Maybe we can get back to winning the Big 10."

His teammate and roommate at Iowa Western is former D.C. receiver Deon Long. Also a New Mexico transfer, Long was a freshman All-American. He is committed elsewhere, but Barr hopes he will reconsider.

"He's verbally committed to Maryland. I'll definitely try to change his mind, get him to Illinois. All season I'll be talking to him about that."

Barr is the first receiver to commit to the Illini, who now have 18 known commits for the 2013 signing class.

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