Honolulu, Hawaii. (UI Release) -University of Illinois head coach John Groce announced Wednesday the signing of five student-athletes to national letters of intent. Those players, listed alphabetically, are Austin Colbert, Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Kendrick Nunn and JaylonTate.
Illinois has recruited the No. 10 class in the nation according to Rivals. Scout, meanwhile, ranks the class 22nd while ESPN lists it at No. 23. In seven months on the job, Groce and his staff have landed a top-25 class according to scouting services.
"This is an exciting day for our program as we welcome Austin, Malcolm, Maverick, Kendrick and Jaylon to the Fighting Illini family," Groce said. "One of the top goals we had in this first year here was to sign a five-player class that fits our needs at every position, and I couldn't be more pleased with our results. These are five outstanding young men who have tremendous character, come from great families, and of course excel on the basketball floor.
"A great deal of credit goes to our assistant coaches, who have worked tirelessly on the recruiting trail," Groce continued. "We were able to identify and successfully recruit these five players who share our vision and will help us be successful. Coach Walker, Coach Ford, and Coach Parham have all hit the ground running and played equally large roles in putting this class together."
Colbert is a 6-9, athletic forward from Gladstone, N.J. He attends Gill St. Bernard's High School, the No. 25-ranked team in the country according to a Preseason poll by MaxPreps. Colbert is a top-100 recruit who excelled at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June and competed at the Nike Global Challenge in July.
Hill is a 6-5 wing from Belleville, Ill. Another top-100 recruit, he was a first-team Associated Press all-state selection last season. Hill averaged 21.3 points as a junior at Belleville East High School, setting the school's single-season scoring record with 666 points.
Morgan is a 6-10 center from Springboro, Ohio. The three-star recruit averaged 21.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots as a junior at Springboro High School, earning special mention All-Ohio accolades.
Nunn is a 6-3 guard from Chicago who has been a part of three straight state championship teams at Simeon High School. The top-100 recruit earned All-State honors after averaging 15.1 points as a junior. Nunn also was a member of USA Basketballteam that won gold at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Lithuania in July.
Tate is a 6-2 point guard from Chicago who teamed with Nunn to help lead Simeon to the IHSA state title last season. The three-star recruit saw his stock soar this summer and fall in open gym workouts.
Nunn and Tate continue the proud pipeline of Chicago Simeon standouts attending the University of Illinois, a list that includes former NBA star Nick Anderson,all-time UI scoring leader Deon Thomas, Kevin Turner, Bryant Notree, Ervin Small and Calvin Brock.
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