During his Signing Day press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Illinois head coach John Groce announced that former Tulane signee Kipper Nichols has committed to the Fighting Illini. The 6-foot-6 wing took an official visit to Champaign on October 25th, but there hadn't been much other news surrounding his recruitment until now.
Nichols also held scholarship offers from Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, Florida, Butler, Clemson, and Xavier leading up to this announcement.
Coming out of high school, the Lakewood, OH native was rated as a three-star recruit in the Class-of-2015 by 247Sports. Nichols signed his National Letter of Intent with Tulane, but he didn't enroll in Fall classes and he was given a release from the school on September 21st.
To be honest, I'm still not 100% sure when Nichols will be eligible to suit up for the Illini. But I'm fairly certain he can start playing at semester break of the 2016-17 season. Since Nichols accepted financial aid at Tulane for the Fall semester, he won't be able to enroll at Illinois until this Winter. Once in Champaign, he'd then have to sit out a year as a result of 'transferring'.
TL;DR - I think Nichols will have 3.5 years of eligibility beginning with the second semester of the 2016-17 season.
Nichols has officially joined the team. He won't be eligible to play until December 2016.
New addition for #Illini. Kipper Nichols has officially joined team, at practice today. Won't be eligible to play until Dec. 2016.— Scott Richey (@srrichey) December 29, 2015
Kipper #illini pic.twitter.com/h8h8EPjMnG— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) December 29, 2015