The Fighting Illini just received their first verbal commitment of the 2017 recruiting class. Via Twitter, three-star running back Mike Epstein announced his intentions to attend the University of Illinois. The St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) product also had offers from Cincinnati, UCF, New Mexico State, Temple, and FAU.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">After talking it over with my family & coaches, I have decided to commit to The University of Illinois! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/B1G?src=hash">#B1G</a> <a href="http://t.co/riM6v7jnSQ">pic.twitter.com/riM6v7jnSQ</a></p>— Mike Epstein (@Dat26Kid) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dat26Kid/status/629411680452276225">August 6, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Epstein, who's entering his junior year at St. Thomas Aquinas, is teammates with 2016 Illinois commit Dominic Theiman. According to Scout, there are a total of nine other prospects rated as four-star recruits or higher on the school's roster--including Ohio State pledge and No. 2 national recruit Nick Bosa. Moving forward, it'll be interesting to see if the Illini attempt to get in on the squad's top-tier talent.