Class Snapshot: Illinois
Tajarvis Fuller
Tajarvis Fuller
Midwest Regional Manager
Posted Jul 21, 2011

Ron Zook and his staff have always had the reputation of being excellent recruiters. What does the 2012 class have in store? We take a look at the current commits, top targets, and more.

The Illini have five commitments, and have spread it around, as they come from four states. They are in for a number of top prospects, so the class is shaping up nicely, especially if they can keep some of the state's best at home.

Big Get:
I had Lincoln Way East receiver J.J. Robertson penciled in to Iowa for awhile, but the Illini really blew him away. I got to see him at several events this summer and it matched what I had seen on tape: he's an outstanding receiver. His ball skills are excellent and he just has a knack for making big plays. I think he's potentially a future star in Champaign.

One that Got Away:
We're very high on quarterback Wes Lunt and he was a regular visitor to Champaign throughout the spring and summer, but chose the wide open offense at Oklahoma State.

Commitment Notes:
In contrast to Robertson's big play style, Elliot Faerber is bigger and more of a possession guy. He has that great frame and is very sure handed. We see him as a future contributer.

Cornerback Cody Quinn is a speedy cover man that our Ohio staff feels is somewhat underrated. He's a track kid with legit makeup speed. He may not be the biggest guy, but he's a football player.

Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar linebacker-safety Tajarvis Fuller had multiple BCS offers and on tape, it's easy to see why. He can blitz, run, and cover. He needs to add weight and strength, but he's a great athlete who could play a variety of roles in college. He's the most underrated guy in the class in my opinion. He did take some visits after committing, but he reaffirmed his commitment.

Offensive lineman Joseph Spencer, the most recent commitment, is a kid who is listed at tackle, but we think he'll be a college guard. He plays left tackle in high school though, and has experience in both pass pro and in the running game.

Looking Ahead:
The state of Illinois is strong this year. We believe the Illini have catching up to do for some of the top guys like defensive tackle Tommy Schutt and offensive tackle Jordan Diamond, but have legitimate shots at other top prospects in the backyard like running backs Tevin Coleman and David Smith, and defensive tackle Vontrell Williams.

Chicago Julian safety Dae'Shaun Hurley earned a camp offer from the Illini. He's a sleeper with good size and athleticism, and right now, has Illinois at the top of his list.

One interesting in-state name is wide receiver Willie Allen, a 6'3, 215-lb thoroughbred athlete who ran a 4.39 at the Illini camp. If he gets his academics in order, he could easily have several BCS offers.

The Maryland-DC area is always good to the Illini and they're going after some of the big names like Wes Brown and Stefon Diggs, but the prospect from that area they may have the best chance at is Dematha linebacker Sam Lebbie.

Two Kentucky products, Jalen Boyd, a 6'1 cornerback and speedy running back Anthony Wales also report strong interest in the Illini. Another prospect to remember is Avon (Ind.) offensive lineman Josh Smith. Illinois was one of the first to offer and he is heavily considering the offer.

Orrville (Ohio) linebacker Mason Monheim has an Illinois offer. He also had an excellent summer and is rated as one of the top 40 prospects in a strong Ohio class. He would be a great get for the Illini.

Related Stories
Two Left for Lebbie
 -by  Jul 18, 2011
Vontrell Williams Falls In Love With Tech
 -by  Jul 26, 2011
Expected Choice
 -by  Jul 30, 2011

Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
OLB Ta'Jarvis Fuller (profile)
OLB Sam Lebbie (profile)
WR J.J. Robertson (profile)
DT Vontrell Williams (profile)
[View My HotList]