While taking an unofficial visit to Champaign on Wednesday, class-of-2019 point guard Markese Jacobs picked up a scholarship offer from Fighting Illini basketball. The explosive 5-foot-10 guard already has another offer from Kansas, and he's shaping up to be one of the top players from Illinois.
Received Another Offer From university Of Illinois pic.twitter.com/lzwtjkFYiU— Markese Jacobs (@markese_24) August 3, 2016
Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times had some great things to say about the sophomore last month. After dominating 15u competition this Summer, Henricksen is projecting Jacobs to be a 'no-brainer high-major prospect'.
The explosive, power-packed lead guard is a bundle of talent and athleticism. Jacobs has the dynamic ability to put constant pressure on the opposition with his ball skills and quick, explosive burst off the dribble. Throw in a good, but not yet polished jumper and the offensive package is scary.
Surprisingly, Jacobs isn't the first class-of-2019 guard to receive a scholarship offer from Illinois. John Groce and his assistants have also been scouting La Lumiere's Tyger Campbell and St. Joseph's Marquise Walker. Walker in particular will be name to watch closely over the coming years, as he's already labeled Illinois as his favorite school.
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After a long, headline-filled offseason, Fighting Illini football will return to Champaign on Thursday morning for the start of Fall training camp. Can Lovie Smith and his new coaching staff address these question marks in the coming weeks?
"I'm sure Rantoul was good for us, but I made a decision as the head coach that (campus) was the best place for us to get ready," Lovie said. "It gives another group of people a chance to see us get ready. The Champaign fans now have a chance for an early preview."
It's the first year under new head coach Lovie Smith. Will the coaching change make enough of a difference? Can the Illini reach a bowl game? Check out these Illinois football schedule predictions for every game.
Defense is what got new head coach Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season and his new defensive coordinator is Hardy Nickerson, a 16-year NFL linebacker and five-time Pro Bowl selection.
Smith has promised that his defenses will be known for taking the ball away and - as was his reputation with the Bears - for scoring with it before the offense can get back on the field.