Ismail Abdunafi. Abdunafi, who grew up watching Big Ten football, added to the speculation when he told Scout.com "it might not be A&M." ---More when you Get Inside!"> Ismail Abdunafi. Abdunafi, who grew up watching Big Ten football, added to the speculation when he told Scout.com "it might not be A&M." ---More when you Get Inside!">

UPDATED: Abdunafi headed to Illinois?

With most of the nation's top talent expected to verbal on Feb 2, the NCAA's designated "National Signing Day" speculation is building that either Illinois or Michigan State could receive a signing day coup in the form of Bakersfield (CA)College defensive end <B>Ismail Abdunafi</b>. Abdunafi, who grew up watching Big Ten football, added to the speculation when he told Scout.com "it might not be A&M." ---More when you <I>Get Inside!</i>

EAST LANSING - UPDATE: Scout.com's Chris Monter is reporting that Ismail Abdunafi has committed to Illinois. More on this as it becomes available.

Could John L. Smith and the Spartans coaching staff get the biggest signing day bonus of their careers? According to sources on the west coast, it has at least a chance of happening.

Bakersfield (CA) College defensive end Ismail Abdunafi, one of the most highly sought after players in the country, has not eliminated Michigan State, even at this late date and is said to be favoring a Big Ten school.

Abdunafi himself added to the speculation when he told Scout.com's Chris Fetters "I'm going to announce tomorrow where I'm going. It may not be Texas A&M."

Most thought that Abdunafi, who according to published reports has given two soft verbals to A&M, was solid, but he himself admitted that a decision has been tough to make. He told Fetters he had "kind of" recommitted to A&M, but not really.

"In a way I have [verballed to A&M], but it's crazy right now. You dig?" said Adunafi. "I don't know. I need these last couple of hours to think. I tell you who it is in the morning."

Abdunafi admitted he has a soft place in his heart for the rough and tumble world of Big Ten football.

"Growing up as a kid, I watched the Big Ten conference and I know I want to play in the Big Ten conference," he said. "Two schools from there (Illinois and Michigan State) are recruiting me, but I also have two other great universities recruiting me in Washington and Texas A&M. I want to play in the Big Ten, that's always been in my heart, but who knows now."

Who knows indeed, but at least Spartans fans have hope for one more day that the four star recruit could end up in East Lansing. If the Spartans were to land him, their class would move up into the uppper echelon of the Big Ten.

That's what makes the recruiting process worth watching.


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