A month after committing to Illinois, Lavar Gardner made things official today on National Signing Day.
His commitment in November ended a three-month dry spell on the recruiting trail and sparked four more verbal pledges in the coming weeks.
Rated as a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, Gardner is listed as the No. 1 JUCO athlete in his class and checks in at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds. Gardner transferred from Samford University to Hutchinson Community College in hopes of nabbing a Power 5 offer. He did just that.
Here’s what our Kyle Huisinga had to say when Gardner committed back in November:
The former Georgia native is a feather in the cap for Lovie Smith and this recruiting staff, as Gardner is a long, rangy athlete who could play multiple positions in the defensive secondary. He also helps fill the void left by Stanley Green, who graduates after 2019, and has stabilized the safety group for the Illini. Gardner seems like a perfect system for for this defense and could make an impact immediately next season.