What a difference a day makes!
The Illini Trending Meter changed dramatically from yesterday's rendition with four on the list committing to Illinois -- LB De'le Harding, OL Eddy Fish, DE Izon Pulley and DB Harvey Clayton Jr. -- and former Illini commit Tre Johnson officially announcing his flip to Miami.
Monday was a good day for the Illini and the coaching staff. They landed prospects once committed to Michigan (Harding), Miami (Pulley) and Boston College (Fish) and landed its seventh prospect from talent-rich Florida (Clayton Jr.).
It also allowed them to narrow their focus for the final day of recruiting for the Class of 2016.
The Illini currently have 26 public commitments -- the Illini can sign 28 but only enroll 25 -- but that number isn't entirely accurate. OL commit Doug Kramer will grayshirt and be classified for the Class of 2017. American Heritage (Fla.) running back Devin Singletary is expected to be an academic casualty and likely will sign with Florida Atlantic. Safety Juwuane Parchman isn't expected to enroll due to academic issues but may go to a junior college with the goal of joining Illinois when he improves his transcripts. So, that's 23 players.
How do we get to four spots? Well, early enrollees Eli Peters and Ahmari Hayes will be back-counted -- as will midyear enrollee defensive back Trenard Davis -- to the Class of 2015. Early enrolles may be "back-counted" to a previous class that had room available, which helps avoid over-signing.
So after all that math, that leaves Illinois at 21 scholarships reserved -- can we use "reservation" now instead of "commitment"? -- on National Signing Day Eve.
The four positions wanted are: running back (1), wide receiver (1), offensive line (1) and defensive line (1).
So, who are the Illini targeting? Who's trending toward and away from the Illini? Check out the latest, trimmed-down Illini Inquirer Trending Meter!
Recently dropped from list
- Tre Nation, RB: Committed to Illini on Feb. 2
- Shane Richards, OL: Committed to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2
- De'le Harding, LB: Committed to Illini on Feb. 1
- Harvey Clayton Jr., DB: Committed to Illini on Feb. 1
- Izon Pulley, DE: Committed to Illini on Feb. 1
- Eddy Fish, OL: Committed to Illini on Feb. 1
- Tre Johnson: Flipped to Miami on Feb. 1
- Ayo Shogbonyo, LB: Committed to Illini on Jan. 31
Arlington (Texas) defensive tackle Myles Adams has been committed to Rice since August, but the Illini interest is making him think twice. It's a great sign for the Illini that Adams took a visit days before Signing Day. After Antonio Shelton's decommitment -- he's now committed to Penn State -- the Illini need defensive line depth in the worst way. Adams is a bit small (6-foot-2, 265 pounds), which certainly has kept other power-five conference teams away. But he has a great burst off the line and plus athleticism -- a fit for the three technique -- to go with a solid core of strength to build on. He also plays with a nasty streak. He'll need a season to bulk up. But at this point, he would be a solid get at a position of great need for Illinois. With his high school teammate and great friend Ayo Shogbonyo committed, word is that Adams is sold on Illinois but that his family may want him to stay closer to home. UPDATE Feb. 2 (9:40 a.m.): Adams told Illini Inquirer on Tuesday that he "really enjoyed" his visit to Illinois and has already made his decision. "I have a home at Rice, but I felt comfortable at Illinois too," he said. What's a bigger pull for Adams: the Big Ten or home? It sounds like, "There's no place like home." The Illini likely will have to look elsewhere, possibly at JUCO targets.
East St. Louis guard Tre'Vour Simms might provide the Illini with the best chance at a Signing Day splash. He has flip-flopped between Illinois and Missouri for the past month. He will pick from hats on Signing Day. The Illini continue to recruit him hard, as an entire staff, every day. Simms' feelings about where he wants to go appears to depend on the day. Sources say he and his family lean toward the Illini but his high school coaches and teammates pull him toward Missouri. He's given the Illini great vibes throughout the process. If Simms makes a personal decision, Illinois has a great chance. He has a great relationship with the staff, especially Mike Bellamy. Word is that Simms has been on the Illinois campus a few times in recent weeks, a good sign for the Illini. But Simms has a lot of people in his ear. The direction of this arrow could change depending on the hour. Flip a coin.
Pampano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely receiver Thomas Geddis holds more than a dozen offers -- including Cincinnati, Utah State and Toledo -- but he visited Illinois this weekend and seemed to enjoy his time. He is a speedy, long strider but needs to add strength and physicality to go across the middle. The Illini will take one more receiver and can sell the three-star the opportunity to play Big Ten football. With Evan Fairs off the board to Kansas, Geddis is the Illini's top priority at the position. But Illini confidence isn't as high as it was a few days ago because Miami is making a push for Geddis. If the Illini don't land him, they may take the best player available among their other targets, scour the fifth-year transfer market or try to sway a surprise target committed elsewhere.