New coach Tim Beckman, who joined the Illini less than a month ago, is bringing in his first class to Champaign – and he’s spent all of his time trying to hold on to Ron Zook’s commits while securing a few of his own:
CHAMPAIGN — While introducing his staff at a news conference Tuesday, Illinois coach Tim Beckman said he might have to step away if his phone rang.
And what is he telling recruits?
“It’s about trying to fit the people into your program that you believe in,” Beckman said. “We told them exactly what the intentions were of this program and what we want to accomplish in this first year. We have a couple waiting till the end, but we’re fitting the needs we felt we needed to fit.”
Here is what is expected to happen (Player rankings all via ESPN, with class rankings from Scout.com and comments from Rivals.com, to even things out):
Commits: 18 (click on this number to see which have signed throughout the day!)
Scout.com ranking: No. 63 (subject to change)
Five/four stars: None.
Three stars (8): Tajarvis Fuller, Fort Meyers, Fla., No. 44 outside linebacker; Tyrone Neal, McKeesport, Penn., No. 62 outside linebacker; Dami Ayoola, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., No. 32 running back; Jason Robertson, Frankfort, Ill., No. 115 wide receiver; Joseph Spencer, Mason, Ohio, No. 15 center; Vontrell Williams, Chicago, No. 85 defensive tackle; Teko Powell, Miami, No. 95 defensive tackle; Joey Warburg, Louisville, No. 140 offensive tackle.
Summary: It’s a good start, and stealing a player or two could help the Illini move up in the class rankings a bit.
What they’re saying: “New Illini head coach Tim Beckman is using his Midwest ties to fill out the 2012 class before National Signing Day.”
Video to give you something to look forward to: