While you were watching the Philadelphia Eagles upset former Illinois football lineman Ted Karras and the New England Patriots on Sunday night in Super Bowl LII, three high schoolers became the newest commitments to Illinois football.
Two of the three commits hail from California, a territory new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith can be expected to contribute to in a big way in recruiting.
Kenyon Sims, with a three-star ranking according to 247Sports, is a 5-foot-11 running back from San Diego.
Sims joins Jakari Norwood in Illinois’ 2018 class as the only tailbacks so far. Norwood signed his Letter of Intent in December.
Below is Sims’ highlight reel from part of his senior season at Lincoln High School.
Matthew Robinson joins Sims as the other California native. Robinson, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback, has three stars, according to 247.
Robinson had other offers from from schools including Montana and Coastal Carolina.
Visited by Rod Smith on Jan. 31, Robinson joins MJ Rivers (already signed) and Coran Taylor in Illinois’ 2018 class. The QB position is slim for the Illini entering the spring after Jeff George Jr. announced his intent to transferred and Chayce Crouch gave up football.
The third commitment to Illinois on Sunday is defensive end Ezekiel Holmes. Holmes, 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, is from head coach Lovie Smith’s hot spot of Texas — Wichita Falls to be specific.
Holmes is unranked on 247 and will be joining a strong defensive line that recently lost defensive line coach Mike Phair (to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts).
Holmes visited Illinois this weekend.
Illinois signed 18 total commits in the early signing period in December. The regular February signing period is this Wednesday. The Illini have five unsigned commits, including the above three players, Coran Taylor and Danville (IL) kicker Caleb Griffin.