University of Illinois football fans were ecstatic to hear about two new commitments for the 2019 class, regaining some traction on the recruiting trail heading in to a pivotal Summer stretch that eventually leads to Lovie Smith’s barbeque, a recruiting event held at the Illini coach’s home. The Illini recieved commitments from in-state Wide Receiver Fabian McCray, and Linebacker Camilo Eifler, a former top-150 recruit and Washington transfer.
In-state recruiting remains a top priority for this Illini staff. Lovie and Co. wrapped up the 2018 recruiting class this year gaining the signatures of 10 in-state prospects. Though the success may seem limited, in Smith’s first full recruiting cycle, the Illini established a foot well-planted in the major areas of the state.
The 2019 class is looking promising when it comes to in-state recruits, and that trend continued this week when the Illini received an commitment from wide receiver Fabian McCray on Monday night, adding another player who will graduate this upcoming school year from in-state powerhouse Chicago Phillips, where Lovie has been hitting hard for players like Joseph Thompson, an Illini commit, and Jahleel Billingsley, perhaps one of the biggest “wants” for Illini fans from the pool of in-state talent.
McCray is a 6’2″ 180-pound Wide Receiver, who has been ranked as high as Top 10 in the state for the class of 2019. McCray was a 2017 state champion with Chicago Phillips, and brings to the Illini a desire to win, a mentality that Illini fans, as well as the Illini staff, have desired for so long.
In 2017, he hauled in 43 passes for 621 yards and seven touchdowns. McCray will contribute to the Illini receiving core bringing in calm, reliable hands and good route running. He could turn out to be the steady, go-to receiving threat that Illinois Quarterbacks of the future will look for in
times where they need a reception in the clutch.
The Illini also have had a lot of luck in out of state recruiting. As you’ve seen and followed here on illiniscoops.com, the Illini have gained commitments from 4-star Bishop Dunne (Tx.) Cornerback Marquez Beason, as well as 4-star Trinity Catholic (Mo.) Quarterback Isaiah Williams. That trend continued as Coach Hardy Nickerson landed a recruit in Camilo Eifler, a former Top-150 recruit that will transfer in from the University of Washington.
Though he will sit this season due to transfer rules, Eifler will be a large contributor for the 2019 season and beyond. He fills a huge need a Middle Linebacker for the Illini. The Illini football program, home to great linebackers including Dick Butkus, have been looking for the latest field general to add to the Illini stat books.
Eifler (6’1″ 225 lb.), is a former four-star recruit who was named in the higher-end of the top 150 recruits many times in high school at Bishop O-Dowd in Oakland, California where he played under now-Illini coach Hardy Nickerson. He redshirted the 2016 season and played in all 13 games in 2017 — finishing with six tackles — before announcing his decision to leave the Huskies in mid-May.
Eifler will no doubt fill the Illini need at MLB, in addition to a likely-to-grow linebacker core for the team, and ends the drought of high-rated linebacker recruiting for the Illini in recent years. He will look to spend this year familiarizing himself with the defense, and then be a big contributor come 2019.
You can check out more about Fabian and Camilo here on Illiniscoops.com, and through the Illini Scoop Podcast. Check back soon for more!