If you would have told me that Illinois would have the 27th rated class for 2013 in May, I probably would have laughed at you. I never thought new Coach Tim Beckman would have gotten off to that fast of a start on the recruiting trail, but it seems like he has.
Illinois already had a solid class before the huge commitment from Bolingbrook QB Aaron Bailey. But since he committed, they’ve gained three more commitments for some highly recruited defensive linemen and one from an offensive lineman from talent-rich Ohio.
First came Merrick Jackson, a DT from Belleville, Illinois. Jackson is a monster of a young man, coming in at 6’3″ 320. According to Scout, Jackson is the 44th rated DT in the nation. While the rating might not blow you away, he does have offers from BCS schools such as Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.
Next came Jarrod Clements, a DT/DE from Trotwood-Madison High School in Ohio. Clements is 6’3″ 260 and could play either tackle or end right now. He’s starting to blow up on the summer camp scene, dominating at a Nike camp recently in early May. Clements is the 39th rated DT in the nation by Scout, and like Jackson, you need to look at his offers rather than rating. He too has racked up BCS offers from Louisville, NC State, Tennessee and West Virginia. Just from judging by his camp domination, you could be looking at a 4-star player.
The third commit came from a relatively unknown OL from Ohio, Austin Schmidt. Schmidt’s only other offer was from Central Michigan, but he has the size you like to see on the line for a high schooler, being 6’6″ 270.
The most recent commit came from another DT, Kenton Gibbs out of Michigan powerhouse Cass Tech in Detroit. Gibbs is rated the 34th best DT by Scout and 30th best by Rivals, while only have one other BCS offer.
Illinois’ commit list as of 5/12 according to Rivals:
- Aaron Bailey- 4-star QB, #4 Dual Threat QB
- Dillan Cazley- 3-star DB
- Jesse Chadwell- NR OL
- Jarrod Clements- 3-star DE
- Christian DeLauro- 3-star TE
- Kendrick Foster- 3-star RB
- Kenton Gibbs- 3-star DT, #30 DT
- Merrick Jackson- 3-Star DT
- Austin Schmidt- NR OL