Miami (Fla.) Southridge defensive back three-star Antwan Collier verbally committed to Illinois on Monday, a source told Illini Inquirer. Collier later announced his commitment on Twitter.
Collier also had offers from Nebraska, Purdue, Utah, Cincinnati, Cal, Louisville and others.
Collier is the seventh commitment for the Illini in the Class of 2017 and the first for the Illini since early June. He also is the first out-of-state prospect to commit to head coach Lovie Smith. He has not yet visited campus but plans a visit soon.
Werner's take: Collier is a good get for Illinois out of a state they're making a priority. He has the length, athleticism and physicality Lovie Smith wants in defensive backs, especially at cornerback. But he also has the versatility to play safety. Illinois need more length, range and speed in their secondary, and Collier fits the bill. Also, Collier gives Illinois a boost after a few quiet months in recruiting. Fans were starting to get worried given that Illinois was at the bottom of the Big Ten in quantity of 2017 commitments, but several of their top targets are about to make decisions. Collier shows they can close on some their top targets.
"Measuring in at an intriguing 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Collier is a young man that certainly passes the eye test with his prototypical size and frame in the secondary. Collier plays a physical brand of football, and shows no problem coming downhill to deliver a blow on the ball carrier. Collier has the tendency to throw a shoulder at the defender, so he needs to do a better job of wrapping up, but you have to like his energy and willingness to get his nose dirty. He's fairly raw from a technical standpoint, and in my opinion, projects best in the back end of the defense at safety, but Collier provides undeniable size, length and instincts. He played quarterback and wide receiver prior to transferring into Southridge, so this season, I expect him to play a much larger role on defense." - Corey Bender, Scout.com Florida recruiting analyst