LIVE! Signing Day: Part II

LIVE! Signing Day: Part II

Injuries to Mike Epstein and Ra'Von Bonner last season proved there's no such thing as too many running backs. Enter a third California signee today alone.

Kenyon Sims, Running back
5-foot-11, 195 pounds
San Diego, Calif.
Lincoln
Rivals: 3*
247Sports: 3*
Other offers: Arizona, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nevada, Sacramento State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah, Utah State, Washington State, Wyoming
Of note: The one-time Utah commit rushed for 1,396 yards and 24 touchdowns on 163 carries (all team highs) for Lincoln after transferring from Mission Bay High School to play for the Hornets in his final season.

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Illinois has made recruiting Texas — Lovie Smith's home state — a priority. After landing multiple recruits in December, add a Texan defensive end to the list.

Ezekiel Holmes, Defensive end
6-foot-5, 205 pounds
Wichita Falls, Texas
Hirschi
Rivals: 3*
247Sports: 3*
Other offers: Air Force, Washington State
Of note: Holmes had the best season of his career as a senior, racking up 93 tackles (including 31 tackles for loss and eight sacks) to go with a pair of interceptions and two touchdowns to earn Associated Press Second Team All-State honors. He’s the fourth Texan in Illinois’ 2018 class not counting defensive back Nick Walker who went to junior college in Texas.

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Quarterback depth gets another boost with another Californian.

Matthew Robinson, Quarterback
6-foot-1, 180 pounds
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
JSerra Catholic
Rivals: 2*
247Sports: 2*
Other offers: Coastal Carolina, Dayton, Florida International, Montana, Northern Arizona
Of note: Once committed to Montana, Robinson flipped to the Illini on Sunday — 24 hours after receiving his offer. While considered a dual threat quarterback, the California native did more passing (2,417 yards, 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions) than running (113 yards, three touchdowns) during his senior season.

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Illinois taps California again. Although does getting this Cali linebacker mean Merlin Robertson will end up elsewhere?

Jacob Hollins, Linebacker
6-foot-2, 215 pounds
Fresno, Calif.
Central East
Rivals: 3*
247Sports: 2*
Other offers: Azusa Pacific, Fresno State, Idaho
Of note: Hollins was the second-leading tackler at Fresno Central East last fall with 136, including a dozen tackles for loss. He also had five sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two passes defended and an interception for the Grizzlies.

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The first February signee is on board, and it's the player that's waited the longest to make things official.

Coran Taylor, Quarterback
6-foot-3, 205 pounds
Peoria
Peoria
Rivals: 3*
247Sports: 3*
Other offers: Illinois State, Miami (Ohio)
Of note: Taylor was the first 2018 prospect to commit to Illinois, doing so in April 2017. A dual threat quarterback, the 2016 Class 5A state champ passed for 1,546 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions last fall and rushed for 1,048 yards and 14 more touchdowns for the Lions.

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Early February used to be one of the moments in college football. A full winter of the coaching carousel spinning and recruits committing and de-commiting led up to a singular moment: National Signing Day.

This year's a little bit different. The advent of the early signing period certainly changed things. The vast majority of 2018 prospects signed in December. Now, February — today — will be used to finalize classes. Like at Illinois where a handful of recruits are expected to sign and join the 18 that did so before Christmas.

Illinois' quarterback situation — at least when it comes to depth — is set to be solved today with both Coran Taylor and Matt Robinson on deck to join the Illini. The lone question mark is at linebacker. Will Illinois land four-star Californian Merlin Robertson? What's the next move if that doesn't happen?

Stay tuned right here at IlliniHQ.com throughout the day for updates when each new Illini makes things official.

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Moonpie wrote on February 07, 2018 at 11:02 am

Gee, the Texas DE only needs to add another 60 pounds and is no bigger than the Peoria QB.

Might be a reason he has no offers from Texas, A&M, Baylor.

Mediocre players.

burkejo wrote on February 07, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Any idea when Merlin Robertson is supposed to announce?