Florida DL/OL Tre Johnson commits to Illini

Bill Cubit lands second commitment since taking over as interim coach

Florida lineman Tre Johnson committed to Illinois, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound The First Academy (Orlando) three-star prospect told IlliniInquirer.com.

Johnson is the second prospect to verbally commit to the Illini since Bill Cubit took over as interim coach, joining two-star Missouri defensive end Brandon Jones, and the 16th overall commitment in the Illini Class of 2016.

Johnson took an official visit to Illinois on Oct. 3 to watch the Illini's come-from-behind victory against Nebraska.

"I've kind of been thinking about it since my official visit was pretty nice," Johnson said on Friday. "I love the team. I love the players. I felt really good about the coaching staff, especially Coach Cubit. He's the kind of guy I want to play for. He's a great guy, great team. It just sounds like a great program and the best program for me."

Johnson has physical traits similar to current Illinois senior strongside defensive end Jihad Ward, who hosted Johnson on his official visit. The Illini plan to play Johnson at strongside defensive end, as well, though he has intriguing size and skill at offensive tackle.

"I feel like I can play either side of the ball," Johnson said.

Illinois defensive line coach Mike Phair is leading the recruitment for Johnson, along with Cubit. Syracuse, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Louisville recruited Johnson as well, but he has not taken any other official visits.

"Even though I took my official visit, they didn't really pressure me to commit," Johnson said. "They still kept in touch. They still came back down here. That showed me more so that I was really a guy they wanted. It felt really good to have a coach who really takes an interest in me as a student-athlete."

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