Once Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm took the job at Purdue, it appeared that Big Ten football could be in Hilttoppers commit Nate Hobbs' future.
But instead of following Brohm to Purdue, the Louisvile (Ky.) Male defensive back will play for Lovie Smith at Illinois, he told Illini Inquirer on Friday.
"I decommitted from WKU, and now I'm committed to Illinois," Hobbs told Illini Inquirer.
The 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback chose Illinois over several Division-I offers, but Illinois was his only power-five conference scholarship offer.
Hobbs is a fast, long, fluid cornerback who fills a big need in the Illini's Class of 2017. He took an unofficial visit to Champaign in October but made a commitment to Western Kentucky in November. The Illini recently upped their interest, however, and Hobbs made his commitment on Thursday.
Hobbs was able to meet the staff, including head coach Lovie Smith, during the visit.
"They told me that Coach Lovie Smith that he really loves me and he wants to meet me," Hobbs told Illini Inquirer in October. "They like my explosiveness, and they just tell me all good things. Everybody here tells me (Lovie) is a really great guy and a guy you want to play for and be around."
Illinois then watched Hobbs play this fall -- and apparently liked what they saw.
Hobbs is the 16th commitment in the Illini's Class of 2017 and the fifth this month.