Illini looking to stack great recruiting classes with "future 5-star"

Illini looking to stack great recruiting classes with “future 5-star”

Over the weekend, the Illinois basketball program started targeting a future top 20 player.

No one knows what the Illini roster is going to look like a couple of years from now, and we really won’t know what the roster will look like when the 2025-26 campaign rolls around. But, while we don’t know who will be on the team by that point, we do know that Brad Underwood is going to do his best to build the most talented roster in the nation.

On Sunday, Underwood started to form his vision for the future with an offer to Darryn Peterson. He is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and resides in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Peterson isn’t rated or ranked by 247Sports, but the class of 2025 recruit has a ton of offers already on the table and more teams are joining the mix by the day.

Peterson had roughly 11 scholarship offers heading into the weekend, and according to Andrew Slater of Pro Insight, he has picked up an additional four offers, one of which included the Illini.

Illinois basketball needs to keep stacking great recruiting classes.

With the addition of Skyy Clark to the 2022 class, Illinois sits with a top 10 group. Overall, the Ilini have the No. 7 class in the nation. Underwood has done a great job bringing in big-time talent since joining the program before the 2017-18 campaign.

As long as Underwood is able to keep up with his great recruiting ability, then Illinois should be fine. Yes, we don’t have a player committed for 2023 just yet, but there are still plenty of names out there for the Orange and Blue.

I would still keep an eye on JJ Taylor. He is a big forward who is a top-five player in the country. I also think Illinois still has a shot at Akil Watson. He took an official visit to Champaign back in December.

On top of the 2023 class and the potential for some special talent to come aboard, Illinois already has two players committed for 2024. Morez Johnson is a four-star and ranked as the No. 44 player in that class. Illinois also received a commitment from Skyy Clark’s brother, ZZ Clark, this past week. He isn’t ranked just yet, but there is no doubt he is a top 100 recruit.

So, 2025 is going to be an important group for the Orange and Blue. We have entered a recruiting world where every year matters because you never know who will be on the team the following season. Underwood has done a great job adapting to the environment. Hopefully, Peterson is someone who can join what could be a special class in 2025.

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