SIGNED: Maverick Morgan

Ohio big man Maverick Morgan joins John Groce's first full class, signing for the Illini on Wednesday.

Guards get a lot of the attention in Illinois coach John Groce's system, but the role of an athletic big man should never be sold short.

Enter Maverick Morgan.

The big man from Springboro, Ohio was the second to commit to Illinois, and he filled a big need for the Illini. He talked about what sold him on Coach Groce and Illinois.

"I would say that was the big thing was the direction the staff was heading," Morgan said. "Illinois has had a rough couple years and he's doing everything he can to change that. I think he's on it and making sure they work."

Signing was a big occasion for him. He was glad to put his future in writing and is excited for what's coming at Illinois.

"It was cool to make everything official," he said of the signing. "The whole experience of being there should be great. I'm ready to join the other guys in the class too."

Morgan had a relationship with Groce before while he was at Ohio, too. That played a big role in landing him so soon after Groce took the job at Illinois.

"That was huge," he said. "It was more like picking up where we left off than starting all over again. Once he got to Illinois it made committing to Illinois that much easier."

And now that he's Illinois-bound, Morgan is looking forward to getting to work, but not before his senior season at Springboro.

"It should be an awesome year," said Morgan. "We should be pretty good this year. I don't think our conference should be too bad, but come tournament time it's always tough."

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