Much has been said about Illinois' special teams woes the last couple years. However, the Illini took a big step toward securing the kicking position for the future with the commitment of 2016 Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Kicker James McCourt.
McCourt, who hails from one of the biggest high school football powers in the country, was actually voted a team captain, which says a lot about the senior prospect.
The Illini had two offers out to kickers at the time of McCourt's commitment, the other being to Oklahoma native Braxton Pickard, but McCourt jumped on the offer first, and will join fellow St. Thomas Aquinas alums S/LB James Crawford (current Illini), WR Dominic Thieman (2016 commit), and eventually 2017 RB commit Mike Epstein.
McCourt said that the Illinois staff and players "made him feel at home" and that "the people were great and accepted me in right away."
McCourt has great leg strength. He regularly kicks the ball into or out of the endzone for touchbacks, and gets good lift on his kicks at the point of contact.
Check out this footage of McCourt in action.