Illini football land prized recruit from Florida

Illini football land prized recruit from Florida

The Illinois football team added its second four-star recruit Sunday to the class of 2018.

Reuben Unije, an offenensive lineman from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., said "Yes" to Lovie Smith's program.

Unije joins earlier commit Calvin Avery, a defensive tackle from Dallas, as the two highest-rated players to pick Illinois.

Unije, a 6-foot-6, 300-pounder, had offers from several Power 5 programs, including Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Oregon, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UCLA. He earlier made a commitment to Oklahoma before switching to Illinois.

Also on Sunday, four-star tight end Luke Ford of Carterville released his final five schools, including Illinois. Others on his list are Alabama, Auburn. Georgia and Texas A&M.

The news wasn't all good Sunday for Illinois recruiting. Braeden Daniels, a three-star offensive lineman from Carrollton, Texas, announced his switch to Utah. He made a commitment to the Illini in August.

The Illinois class, currently comprised of 16 players, is ranked No. 57 nationally, according to Rivals.com.

That puts the Illini 13th in the Big Ten, behind No. 1 Ohio State, No. 6 Penn State, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 16 Michigan, No. 18 Maryland, No. 26 Minnesota, No. 31 Wisconsin, No. 35 Indiana, No. 39 Purdue, No. 42 Iowa, No. 44 Rutgers and No. 55 Northwestern.

Nebraska is ranked No. 61 and has a Big Ten-low 12 commits after its recent hire of Scott Frost.

With the transfers of 10 underclassmen from the 2017 team, Illinois has the scholarship room to add 25 new players.