Recruiting Heating Up for Tilmon

Elite in-state center Jeremiah Tilmon hears from Illinois all the time, but numerous others are calling, and his recruitment is really gaining momentum.

A busy spring and summer for 2017 5-star center Jeremiah Tilmon was capped off by a runner-up finish at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and participation in the Nike Global Challenge in Chicago. Playing such a demanding schedule takes a physical toll on a player, but Tilmon did what he could to keep his body ready for more games.

"I just had to relax and stay focused," he said. "I knew I had to push through because I knew I was going to be tired. I got an ice bath after the first night. Taking care of myself helps keep me fresh."

Tilmon's game right now is as good as it has ever been, even in comparison to the beginning of the grassroots season. But increased confidence and a more assertive mentality have allowed Tilmon to really get things going as summer ball is coming to a close.

"I started off a little slow this spring," he admitted. "I started playing soft, but as the season went on, I started getting aggressive and running the floor and played smarter."

The results of a lot of time spent in personal workouts has shown in a big way over the last month or so in Tilmon's game. He is much more comfortable in executing a variety of post moves and looks more fluid out on the floor.

"My entire game has changed, really, he said. "I just have to stay humble and let my game do my talking. I work on a lot of moves, but sometimes I don't do it in a game because I overthink about using them. But lately I've just gone out and it's been more natural. If I would have done that more, I could have gotten more buckets since it would have opened up the court for me. I'm 6'11", I should be shooting hook shots."

Tilmon holds an early offer from the in-state Illini, and has since picked up a few other offers, one of which is from the Kansas Jayhawks. In an effort to stay focused on his development and academics, he tries to let his mother take care of most of the recruiting process.

"This spring, I got an offer from Kansas," he said. "Coaches talk to my mom more than they talk to me, though."

One of Tilmon's first unofficial visits of the spring was to Champaign, where he got to see the University of Illinois on a more in-depth level compared to his prior visit during the basketball season.

"I like the fact that they took me to the academic center," he said. "The other visits I've been on, they haven't really done that. They showed me what I need to learn and what I need to know. They tell me they want me to be there, but they don't pressure me too hard."

Tilmon also said he has a visit coming up shortly to Kansas. It won't be his first time in Lawrence, however, this trip to Kansas will be more formal than in years past.

"(I'll be looking at) Pretty much the same things (as the Illinois visit)," Tilmon said. "I've never been there for a campus visit. I've been to the campus but never for an actual visit."

The coaches at Illinois have been more than diligent in recruiting Tilmon so far, and they have made it clear to him that he is a wanted man.

"I talk to the coaches almost every day since we can text," he said. "I keep a close bond with them and joke around with them all the time. I talk a lot with Jamall Walker. We're real close. It's more than what people think it is."

Tilmon played with two other in-state 2017 prospects with the St. Louis Eagles this spring in Jordan Goodwin and Alonzo Verge. Tilmon says that while a package deal isn't likely, he didn't rule out the possibility of all three ending up at the same college if they all had the opportunity.

"We talk to each other (about recruiting)," he said. "We sometimes joke around about all going to the same school. If we could do that it would be great, but I don't know yet if it will work out that way though."


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