A top recruit is talking about the Illinois basketball program and the possibility of landing in Champaign.
Brad Underwood and the Illini coaching staff still have to close out the class of 2024. With Morez Johnson Jr. as the lead dog in that group, Illinois looks to finish with another top-25 recruiting class. If the 2024 class finishes in the top 25, that would give Underwood five out of his seven recruiting classes achieving this mark.
While the Illini try to button up a top recruiting class for 2024, the class of 2025 is on the horizon. There are plenty of talented recruits for Underwood to snag, and one of them is from the area.
Jeremiah Fears has been a recruiting target for Illinois for quite some time. We were his first scholarship offer back in September 2021, and the relationship has grown from there.
On Thursday, Fears spoke with Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports. In this interview, he talked about some of the programs that are at the top of his mind. Fears mentions Tennessee, Arizona, and Iowa. He then goes on to talk about Illinois as well.
"“They treated me like family. They have Morez Johnson committed. He always reaches out to me and tells me to come on a visit. They are a great program. They want to keep me in-state.”"
Having a big-time recruit like Johnson trying to recruit other big-time players like Fears to come play for the Illini is amazing. It is a recruiting chip that no other coach can touch.
Illinois basketball is going to be in a battle for Jeremiah Fears when it is decision time
In the interview with Jenkins, Fears does lay out the fact he wants to make a commitment sometime around midseason. That would put his decision sometime, likely, in January.
That means Illinois is going to have to do some serious work between now and then. Fears has only been on one official visit, which was to Tennessee back on September 22. That is when the Volunteers offered him a scholarship as well.
I fully expect the Illini to land an official visit in the coming months. I expect it to be before the basketball season starts as well. That means it needs to happen here shortly.
It seems that Illinois is likely to be there at the end for Fears’ commitment. I would venture to say Tennessee has the nod right now, but the Illini will likely land an official visit. We also have the location factor, as Fears is from Joliet, Illinois.
I can just picture it now. A backcourt that consists of Fears with a frontcourt of a dominating sophomore in Johnson. That is a one-two punch that every team in the nation should fear. Let’s keep these talented recruits home and dominate the state in recruiting once again.