Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini are receiving a visit from one of the nation’s top players on Saturday. Jeremy Werner has reported that Four-star wideout Jeff Thomas (IL) will be in Champaign this afternoon to watch training camp and tour team facilities. The 5-foot-10 East St. Louis native is the No. 52 overall player in 247Sports’ class-of-2017 composite rankings.
Thomas narrowed his list to Alabama, Michigan State, Florida State, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Missouri back in May. The star receiver also has notable Power 5 offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Miami (FL). So, clearly, the Illini have quite a bit more work to do if they have any hope of being considered as a destination. This campus visit is a huge step, though, because it gives the new coaching staff an opportunity to make their pitch face-to-face for the first time.
But what exactly would Thomas bring to the Orange and Blue? Speed, and lots of it. At Nike’s ‘The Opening’ Final (an all-star combine for high school prospects), the star receiver ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Additionally, he won the ‘fastest man’ competition over top recruits Salvon Ahmed, Darnay Holmes, Donovan Johnson and Chris Henderson.
Jeff Thomas Highlights