CHAMPAIGN -- Illini head coach John Groce has long been looking to make a splash at point guard on the recruiting trail, and he did just that on Sunday with top-100 playmaker Trent Frazier pledging his commitment during his official visit in Champaign.
"It's awesome. I've been waiting to tell Coach Groce how I appreciate everything he and Coach Ford have done the past few years and that I'm ready to commit," Frazier told IlliniInquirer.com. "I love it. They've made it feel like home this whole weekend. Everything the coaches have done for me is so special."
Frazier called Illinois his leader back in April following an in-home visit with Groce and assistant coach Dustin Ford down in Wellington, Fla. The Illini have been all over the Sunshine State's top point guard since offering last summer.
They established a relationship and trust factor that other programs did not match. They also bought into his talent long before Frazier's explosive month of July on the AAU circuit.
"Loyalty. They've been recruiting me for two years. They were the first people to recognize how much potential I have," Frazier said. "I fit their style of play. They've produced some of the best point guards around. I feel like it's the perfect spot for me."
With the strong bond to the coaching staff and all the love he was feeling from the Orange and Blue, Frazier told IlliniInquirer.com back in July that Illinois "already feels like home". Now, it will be his home when he gets ready to start his first semester of college a year from now.
Frazier, his parents and his high school coach took a tour of campus on Saturday with the Illini staff. That included a stop to see Lovie Smith and the Illinois football team practice at Memorial Stadium, where Frazier was all smiles.
Later that afternoon, Frazier went through a workout at Ubben -- including some 1-on-1 with Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Hill. Afterwards, the group went over to Groce's house for dinner.
Throughout the visit, Frazier got to spend time with former Illini great point guard Dee Brown, which was a major asset.
"Dee Brown is an awesome guy. He's a comedian. He's awesome to be around and he makes me laugh," Frazier said. "I'm really looking forward to him teaching me some skills that he has."
And on Sunday, Frazier let the Illini know that he is all-in on joining this promising 2017 class. That drew quite a reaction from Groce when Frazier told him face to face.
"He jumped out of his chair and gave me a big hug. He's been waiting for it. I'm so happy, and so is he," Frazier said. "To be honest, I've known that I wanted to play here but I wanted to make sure that this is the right place during a visit. And it is, man. I can't wait to spend my time here."
Sunday's activities also featured a tour of the State Farm Center, some time out at Quad Day and dinner at Firehaus.
Frazier is a scoring dynamo at the point guard position. He has a dangerous lefty stroke from beyond the arc, and he has an ability to get to the rack with a quick burst off his first step. Frazier suits the ball-screen offense, and he has a knack for operating in transition.
He fits the prototype that Groce wants at the position. Point guard and center were big needs at the outset of this class. Groce landed five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon in July. And now in August, he has his point guard.