Top 2025 Illinois basketball recruiting target set to make commitment

Dec 1, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Compass Prep  guard Jeremiah Fears (2) drives to the
Dec 1, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Compass Prep guard Jeremiah Fears (2) drives to the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A big Illinois basketball recruiting target is set to make his decision in the coming days.

The Illini are set up well to have success moving forward. Brad Underwood was able to land some talented players in the class of 2023 who are currently developing with the program. In 2024, a superstar big man is entering the picture in Morez Johnson Jr.

Illinois is also bringing in another solid depth big man in Jason Jakstys and a guard who should see early minutes in Jase Butler. These players will be the foundation for the future success of the program.

These two recruiting classes then lead into the class of 2025. Illinois has yet to land a player for this group, but on Wednesday night, we moved one step closer to adding our first recruit.

Joe Tipton of posted on social media that Jeremiah Fears will be announcing his college decision on January 22. The decision will be between Providence, Kansas, Ole Miss, Michigan, and Illinois.

Jeremiah Fears is a player the Illinois basketball team can build around in 2025

Landing Fears would be huge for the Illini. He is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound combo guard from Compass Prep in Arizona. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 31 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 6 combo guard in the country and the No. 2 player coming out of Arizona.

Fears has been on a handful of unofficial visits throughout his recruitment, but now five teams are locked in as the options for the talented guard. He has been on three official visits, though. Illinois got the first official visit back in September. He also visited Tennessee that month. Fears’ last visit was to Providence in December.

I am a bit surprised that Tennessee didn’t make his top five, but that is great for Illinois. I am also a bit surprised that Michigan State isn’t in his top five either. His brother, Jeremy, currently plays for the Spartans.

Illinois is competing against some big boys of the college basketball world. I believe we are a sleeping giant in the college game, but if we want to be considered one of the big boys, we have to win these big-boy recruitments more often.

Fears is a big-time player. Obviously, Kansas and Michigan scare me a bit because they have been able to snag some big Illinois targets in the past. But I believe Illinois might be in the lead for Fears’ commitment.

While Fears plays out in Arizona, he is from Joliet, Illinois. He attended Joliet West High School, so that is probably a nice recruiting chip for the Illini to have in the pocket. It also seems like there is a solid connection between Fears and the Illinois program. He has visited the team multiple times, and it seems that we have a lot of momentum in this recruitment.

There are always recruits who are must-gets for the Illinois basketball program. We have missed on some of these players in the past. We can’t miss on Fears. He is a program builder and someone we can build the class of 2025 around.

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