Commit Tracker: Stanley Green

East St. Louis defensive back is first to give Illinois a commitment since head coach Bill Cubit signed a two-year extension

See, a recruit will by into a coach will by into a coach with a two-year deal.

Illinois coach Bill Cubit will still get commitments despite little long-term security. Stanley Green's commitment to Illinois on Sunday proved that. The Illini offer an opportunity to play in the Big Ten. Many players want that opportunity, especially those with few other power-five opportunities.

Green -- a 6-foot-1, two-star defensive back -- jumped at the opportunity to play for his homestate's flagship Big Ten university, choosing the Illini over offers from Iowa State and FCS programs Northern Iowa and North Dakota State.

Illinois will still get commitments.They can land prospects with MAC, FCS and unimpressive power-five conference offers.

But the question remains of whether Cubit will land enough impact players -- he probably has to find diamonds in the rough given his current situation -- to keep Illinois competitive in the Big Ten for the long term.

Scouting report on Stanley Green

"Green is a hard hitting defensive back who is at his best in run support up in the box. He reacts well to the ball and is aggressive in his pursuit.  His coverage skills are moderate and will be something he needs to work on at the next level. He also will likely need to improve his form tackling, as he won't be able to take down bigger opponents on the college level with big hits like he does in high school. In general, he's a great athlete who also excels in the classroom."

– Ryan Easterling, recruiting reporter

Class of 2016, so far

Illinois currently has 18 verbal commitments. The class -- which currently consists of one (1) four-star prospect and nine (9) three-star prospects -- ranks 56th nationally in the Scout team rankings and 12th of 14 teams in the Big Ten, ahead of Indiana (81) and Purdue (101). The Illini's average commit rating (2.69) ranks 13th among Big Ten teams, ahead of only Indiana.

Remaining spots

The Illini currently have about 23-24 scholarship spots allotted for the Class of 2016, if including the three oversigns allowed by the Big Ten. That leaves the Illini with roughly five to six remaining scholarships to fill. The remaining focus is mostly on four positions.

  • Defensive back (1-2): Illinois loses three starters in the secondary, and the likely candidates to replace those starters don't garner a lot of enthusiasm. Illinois needs to get faster and longer in the secondary and can sell recruits on immediate playing time.
  • Linebacker (1-2): The loss of Julian Jones due to legal issues made this position a priority. Jones was a future starter who added much-needed size and speed to the second level. The Illini need more playmakers at linebacker and will sell recruits on immediate opportunity.
  • Wide receiver (1): Without Mikey Dudek and Justin Hardee, the Illini lacked speed to stretch the field. Hardee is gone after next season and Illinois needs another player who can take the top off the defense.
  • Offensive line (1-2): Illinois has gradually built up depth on the offensive line, but it's still not good enough. Illinois has three offenisve line commitments -- it lost one this week (Devon Robinson) -- but would like to add one or two more for depth. The staff will scour junior colleges to see if it can add a quality depth piece, but it doesn't want to reach on JUCO prospects like it has in the past.
  • Tight end (maybe 1): This was one of the weakest positions on the team last year and its lack of depth was exposed by injuries. Tight ends rarely make an immediate impact as freshmen, but Illinois will take the right prospect to add future depth.
  • Defensive line (maybe 1): Illinois currently has five defensive line commitments, but you can never have too many defensive linemen. Especially when your four likely 2016 starters are all seniors, the case for Illinois.

Prospects to watch

  • Bryce Banks, DB: The Columbia, Mo., product took an official visit to Illinois this weekend. The Illini have been chasing Banks for a while and are in his top-two, along with NC State. His decision may come down to whether he can enroll early. At NC State, it appears he'll have that chance. At Illinois, it appears he'd have to be a summer enrollee.
  • Shemar Smith, LB: The 6-foot-2 Miami native took an official visit this weekend after getting a visit from Illini assistant Nathan Scheelhaase last week. He'd give Illinois a needed speed boost.
  • Isaiah Simmons, S: The four-star Kansas City safety took an official visit to Illinois this weekend after getting a visit from Scheelhaase, a Kansas City native, during the week. He has an impressive offer list, but Illinois will sell immediate playing time.
  • Zach Farrar, WR: The 6-foot-3 Texas wideout has an impressive offer list, including Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Nebraska also is making a push, but Illinois is in his top-five and might be closer to the top of the list than some would assume due to a budding relationship and early playing time. Still, Illinois seemingly would have to beat out some closer, better programs.
  • Desmond Fitzpatrick, WR: The four-star, 6-foot-2 prospect decommitted from Louisville and reopened his recruitment. Other schools have come calling, including Arizona and Nebraska, but Fitzpatrick has a close relationship with Illinois wide receivers coach Mike Bellamy, giving the Illini a slight shot.
  • Brandon Benson, WR: The 6-foot Texas native and SMU commit is expected to visit soon and would be an early enrollee.
  • Jahmir Johnson, OL: Illinois recently offered the 6-foot-5, 273-pound Philadelphia product, giving him his first FBS offer.
  • Blake Hickey, DL: The Kansas State commit recently called Illinois to try to set up a visit. He likely would play defensive line at Illinois.
  • Kenneth Ruff, LB: The Virginia commit had Illinois high on his list before committing to the Cavaliers this fall. With a coaching change at UVA, the Illini are back in the picture for an athlete who had offers from South Carolina and Clemson.
  • Tymar Sutton, LB: Illinois has been near the top of the list for the McKeesport native, who goes to the same high school as current Illini starting LB T.J. Neal. Sutton called Illinois his leader during the fall and they are still on his short list. Sutton canceled a visit to Illinois after Cubit parted ways with linebackers coach Mike Ward.
  • Colby Reeder, LB: Syracuse appeared to be the leader before a coaching change. The 6-foot-3 Delaware prospect received an Illini visit this week from co-defensive coordinator Mike Phair and could be one to watch in the coming weeks.
  • Elias Reynolds, LB: Scheelhaase this week visited the Brooklyn native, who recently decommitted from Rutgers following its coaching change. Pitt and Wake Forest also have offered.
  • Frank Coppet, CB: The Cubits have great ties to St. Thomas Aquinas and are hoping to convince the 6-foot Vanderbilt commit to reconsider. Ryan Cubit visited Coppet, teammate of Illini commits WR Dominic Thieman (2016), K James McCourt (2016) and RB Mike Epstein (2017), on Wednesday.

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