This news flew a bit under the radar on Friday, but Lovie Smith and the Illini lost out on one of their top recruiting targets. Four-star wide receiver/safety Isaiah Robertson (Naperville, IL) announced his pledge to Notre Dame via Twitter. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Neuqua Valley product is rated as the No. 4 in-state prospect by 247Sports.
Glory to God pic.twitter.com/h42SIHZjf3— Isaiah Robertson (@AlMightyzay_1) April 15, 2016
Robertson narrowed his list of schools to Notre Dame, Illinois, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt on April 5.
So, obviously, not the best news for the Fighting Illini, but the program is still after another talented local receiver in Ricky Smalling (Oak Lawn, IL). Smalling, the No. 6 overall Illinois native, is a three-star prospect and has other scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State, and Virginia. While there's still plenty of time to perhaps flip Robertson's decision, look for the coaching staff to turn up their pursuit of the Brother Rice star.
2017 Illinois Football Recruiting Class
Note: depending on when you view this post, the below embed may or may not be accurate. Three-star defensive lineman Ryan O'Malley decommitted from Illinois on Friday, so three-star running back Mike Epstein is the program's only verbal commitment.