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Illinois offers Texas standouts Camron Buckley, Josh Newman, and Joshua Fleeks

Can Lovie Smith use his Texas connections to land one of them?

Photo via Student Sports

When Lovie Smith was hired by Illinois, it was only a matter of time until the Orange and Blue began focusing on the talent-rich fields of Texas for recruiting. Smith, a native of the Lone Star State, scheduled a few local satellite camps and the interest was noticeable. Over 400 players showed up at the program's Dallas-area showcase on June 8.

It's probably impossible for coaches to truly scout that many prospects over the course of a few hours, but three players from Cedar Hill high school -- one of the state's top programs -- evidently caught the staff's attention. Here's a bit more on the latest scholarship offers.

2017 WR Camron Buckley (Cedar Hill, TX)

Scout has Buckley (pictured above) rated as a four-star recruit, and he's the No. 341 overall player in 247Sports' composite rankings. The 6-foot-1 wideout has already cut his list to Ole Miss, Iowa, Miami (FL), Arizona State, Auburn, Texas, and Houston. The good news for Illinois, though, is that Buckley has previously stated that he'll continue to talk to talk to other schools that remain in contact.

2017 S Josh Newman (Cedar Hill, TX)

Josh Newman told Jeremy Werner that he started screaming after receiving his first college offer from Illinois. That's a good sign, right? The 6-foot-1 defensive back is unranked on 247Sports, but he clearly impressed the coaching staff while camping last week. Newman's HUDL page indicates he has a verified 40-yard dash of 4.54 seconds, and a vertical leap of 35.2''. With those measurables it's only a matter of time until Newman reels in some more offers.

2018 RB Joshua Fleeks (Cedar Hill, TX)

The 6-foot, 170-pound back has other offers from Houston and SMU; TCU and Texas A&M have also expressed interest. According to Fleeks' Scout profile, he has a verified 40-yard dash of 4.48 seconds -- that's pretty damn quick. Fleeks will be a junior in high school this Fall, so there's still a ton of time for more schools to inquire. Illinois made the right move by offering this early.