Huge news for Lovie Smith and Fighting Illini football. According to Jeremy Werner, the program received a verbal commitment from wide receiver Ricky Smalling (Oak Lawn, IL) on Tuesday night. The 6-foot, 185-pound Brother Rice star is rated as a four-star prospect by Scout, and he's the No. 6 Illinois native in 247Sports' 2017 composite rankings.
Smalling held other offers from Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa State, Virginia, and Western Michigan.
The Fighting Illini also received a commitment from in-state wideout Kendall Smith on Tuesday. You can read a bit more about him right here.
Scouting Report (Via Scout.com)
Solid size. Above average height and has a good, strong build. Can go up and get the football. Good overall ball skills and hands. Solid after the catch; maybe not elite in that department but can make things happen after catching short passes. Still polishing his overall game, but has a good skill set and good physical tools.
2017 Illinois Football Recruiting Class
Depending on when you view this article, the below embed may or may not be updated to reflect the program's current verbal commitments. In addition to Smalling and Smith, the Fighting Illini have also received a pledge from three-star running back Mike Epstein. Three-star defensive lineman Ryan O'Malley decommitted on April 15.