Commitment Was Imminent for Black

In-state defensive lineman Josh Black knew all-along that he wanted to go to Illinois. On Saturday, he made it official when he gave his verbal pledge to the Illini.

Just one month ago, Machesney Park (IL) Harlem lineman Joshua Black was barely a blip on the mainstream recruiting radar.

Fast forward to Saturday when he committed to Illinois, putting the cherry on top of a torrid month of recruiting. But according to Black, he's been eyeing a commitment from the moment he received an offer from the Illini.

"Truthfully, I wanted to commit the night I received the offer," he said. It was just a matter of time and convincing my parents that Illinois was the school for me."

Black is an intelligent and calculated student-athlete, so had he committed when he received the offer, he would not have been doing so on a whim.

"Yes (I researched them ahead of time). I wanted to find a nice school with a great education and that has my major, which is physical therapy," he said. "It's close to home and they have a great coaching staff."

Black held a total of six offers, including the offer from Illinois, when he committed. But he said that several other schools like Eastern Michigan, Minnesota, Western Illinois, North Dakota State, and Indiana were heavily involved.

His relationship with defensive coach Al Seamonson has grown quite a bit over the last couple weeks, and the two connect due to their similar personalities when it comes to football.

"He made me feel like family the first time I ever talked to him," Black said. We're both up-tempo guys who are energetic about getting work done."

Black is making the switch from recruit to recruiter now, turning his attention to another key in-state lineman in the 2017 class in his neck of the woods.

"Right now I'm really pulling for Vederian Lowe from Auburn High School," he said. "He's an athletic kid for his size and a great offensive line player with great footwork and work ethic."

The two are familiar with each other outside of football as well, seeing as both are multi-sport athletes.

"We are no strangers to each other," Black said of Lowe. "We know each other from track meets and have good chemistry already."

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