UPDATE: Weekend visits paying off with two commits

UPDATE: Weekend visits paying off with two commits

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois had a serious collection of talent on hand for its junior day and open practice Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It's already paid off with a pair of commitments in the Class of 2020. Three-star offensive lineman Marcus Harper II committed early Sunday afternoon, while four-star running back Reggie Love did the same in the early evening.

Love continues the Trinity Catholic (Mo.) to Illinois pipeline. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back — ranked in the top 200 players nationally in the 2020 class — is the fourth player from the St. Louis school the Illini have landed in the Lovie Smith era along with offensive lineman Larry Boyd (transferred this offseason) and four-star prospects Isaiah Williams and Shammond Cooper as two of the highlights of the 2019 class.

Love picked Illinois over a slew of other high major offers. His offer list also included Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Purdue, Syracuse, TCU, Tennessee, Utah, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Love rushed for 539 yards and six touchdowns last fall in helping Trinity win the MSHSAA Class 5A state title. He's not the only player still on the Titans' roster that Illinois remains involved with either. Four-star running back Mookie Cooper is a serious priority, and the Illini have also targeted four-star receiver James Frenchie and three-star offensive lineman Jalen St. John in the 2020 class.

Offensive line depth has been an issue for Illinois throughout Smith's tenure at Illinois. The Illini took a step toward addressing that — at least for future rosters — with Harper's commitment.

Harper, a Simeon product, is a consensus three-star recruit per both Rivals and 247Sports. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman chose the Illini among other offers from Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Oregon, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Harper, who is ranked as the seventh best prospect in Illinois by 247Sports, was one of several Chicagoland standouts in attendance Saturday for Illinois' junior day and open spring practice.

 

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