The Fighting Illini landed a verbal commitment 2018 three-star safety Ron Hardge III (FL) on Monday night. Hardge is rated as the No. 1408 overall player in the nation by 247Sports.
“First I’d like to thank God for this day, for He is good all the time!!! Next, I would like to thank my family for supporting me throughout this recruiting process. A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to my Pops/Coach for preparing me to play this game of football. Would also like to thank all the college coaches that saw the ability and potential in me to play at the next level. Thanks to the entire Illinois coaching staff for this opportunity. Special thanks to my High School “Cardinal Gibbons”, high school teachers, coaches and teammates for pushing me each and every day on and off the field. Proud to announce that I will be verbally committing to the University of Illinois. #WeWillWin #FightingIllini”
Hardge’s offer list will be a welcome sight for Illinois fans (read: people like me) that have been concerned about the coaching staff’s evaluations this cycle. The Fort Lauderdale product has scholarships in hand from Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and a host of other quality non-Power 5 programs (i.e. Toledo, Western Kentucky, South Florida).
Headlined by three-star Illinois natives Julian Pearl and Coran Taylor, the program’s 2018 class now contains seven members. The group will remain at No. 14 (-) in the Big Ten and No. 70 (+3) nationally once Hardge is factored into 247Sports’ rankings.