The Illinois football team added a member to the family on Friday evening.
Jeff Thomas announced on Twitter that he has decided to transfer from Miami (FL) and has decided to come back home and play for his in-state program, the University of Illinois. This is a pickup for the Illini that is sending shockwaves through the college football world.
Thomas was a 5-foot-10, 175-pound wide receiver coming out of East St. Louis High School in East St. Louis, Illinois. He was rated as a four-star recruit who was the No. 40 player in the class of 2017 and the No. 5 wide receiver in the nation. He was also the No. 2 player in the state of Illinois as well.
Illinois was right there for Thomas’ recruitment the first time around. But, he decided to pick the Hurricanes as his destination to play football. While with Miami, Thomas flourished on the field. As a freshman, he finished the season with 17 catches for 374 yards and two touchdowns. He then had a better sophomore campaign with 35 catches for 563 yards and three touchdowns. This kid can take the top off the defense, which makes him a huge asset.
I would like to thank The University of Miami, my teammates, coaches for their amazing support the past 2 years. With that being said, I would like to thank Coach Lovie smith for this opportunity to further my education and football career at the University of Illinois. pic.twitter.com/mnJHUMiQ8b
— Jeff Thomas (@theregoes4) December 22, 2018
Things went sour between Miami and Thomas, though. Thomas decided he wanted to look for a new home and on December 21, 2018, he found that home in Illinois. This addition for the Illini goes down as one of the biggest in program history.
The past week has been pretty amazing for the Illinois football team. We have signed our future quarterback and top 150 player, Isaiah Williams. He now has another weapon with the addition of Thomas at wide receiver, who is a top 50 player. The Illini defense got a lot better with the addition of cornerback, Marquez Beason. He is a top 90 player.
I haven’t even mentioned the myriad of other amazing additions for the Illini either. This team is on the rise. Thomas is only going to accelerate the process. Oh, and Lovie Smith is quoted in saying they are trying to get him eligible immediately. That would be incredible.