Are the Illini on the verge of landing another offensive playmaker? Probably not, but there's technically a chance. Four-star WR Steven Smothers (Reisterstown, MD) recently cut his list to Illinois, Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, and West Virginia. According to Scout's Brian Dohn, the recruitment is shaping up to be a two-horse race between the Cornhuskers and Mountaineers.
Two-star ATH Jerod Alton (Kirkwood, MO) committed to Mizzou on Tuesday night. Alton was supposed to decide between Illinois and Arkansas State last week, but he abruptly cancelled his announcement and tweeted that he and his family "needed a little more time [to think] about [his] commitment." Translation: he wanted to be an Illini, but his grades weren't good enough to get into the school.
Elsewhere, Illinois was the first Big Ten school to offer three-star LB Tim Walton (Detroit, MI) and he visited campus last weekend. Cincinnati, Navy, Ball State, and Western Michigan are also involved.
Three-star K Braxton Pickard (Edmond, OK) was also in town on Friday when Tim Beckman extended a scholarship offer to him. He's one of the top ten players at the position in this recruiting class.
One of the top in-state basketball prospects is transferring schools. 2017 PG Alonzo Verge Jr. (Villa Park, IL) told CSN Chicago that he won't be returning to Willowbrook high school for his junior year. He'll be deciding his destination this week, but it sounds like a move to a prep school in Florida is very possible. Would that have an impact on his relationship with Illinois? We'd have to wait and see, but it'd definitely make in-home visits a bit tougher to schedule.
2017 G Jordan Poole (Milwaukee, WI), 2017 SF Javon Pickett (Belleville, IL), and 2018 PG Courtney Ramey (Webster Groves, MO) each took unofficial vists to Champaign since Sunday. Pickett and Ramey received scholarship offers from the coaching staff.
2016 PG Quentin Goodin committed to Xavier on Sunday. That's good news for Illinois when it comes to 2016 PG Xavier Simpson (Lima, OH). The 6'0 guard narrowed his list to seven schools recently, but with Xavier seemingly out of the mix it's shaping up to be a three-team race between the Illini, Iowa State, and Purdue.
According to his AAU team's Twitter account, 2017 PG Paul Scruggs (Indianapolis, IN) is planning a return visit to Illinois. He'll be at Louisville this weekend and also wants to see Kansas, Michigan State, and Indiana in the near future.
La Salle transfer Kahlid Lewis' Illinois visit started on Tuesday night. He's one of two immediately eligible 5th year transfers that the coaching staff is looking to add for the 2015-16 season. You can click here to read more about him.