Colbert: 'I really trust them'

Illinois fans have been waiting for first-year coach John Groce to land another big commitment in the Class of 2013.

Groce delivered Monday, securing a verbal commitment from four-star recruit Austin Colbert.

Colbert, a 6-foot-9 forward from Gladstone, N.J., chose the Illini over Seton Hall, Villanova and Miami.

“Coach Groce told me that Illinois has the second-largest alumni network after the University of Texas. He said that if I take care of my business and do good in the classroom and show good character, that I will be well off after I get my degree and graduate,” Colbert said by telephone shortly after his announcement.

Colbert joins Belleville East guard Malcolm Hill, Springboro, Ohio, center Maverick Morgan and the Simeon backcourt duo of Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate in the Illinois 2013 recruiting class. All five can sign letters of intent starting Wednesday.

“It was amazing at Illinois. They really broke it down with how they can use me in the system and their plans to move forward and I really trust them,” Colbert said. “It was really family oriented, all the way down to the alums. The best thing about the university is that it was warm and welcoming.”

Colbert’s senior season at Gill St. Bernard’s is on hold. Gill St. Bernard's is his third school in four years and he won’t be eligible to play until January while adhering to transfer rules. Colbert began his career at New Jersey power St. Patrick’s, where he played for two years before transferring to the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut for his junior year.

“I can practice and I can play in the scrimmages, but I just can’t play in the games,” he said. “I’m so excited. It’s still mind blowing, I can’t believe that it’s finally over and I’m excited about Illinois.”

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Moonpie wrote on November 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Great! He sounds like a great catch. The recruiting class is a good one.


The Trib says Colbert is a 3-star recruit and the Sleepy Gazoo calls him 4-star. Hmmmmmm...

aaeismacgychel wrote on November 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Depends on the source. The Trib likely uses espn which has him as a 3 star. Scouts also has him as a 3 star. Rivals though is a lot higher on him and has him as a 4 star and ranked #92 in the country. Most people who really follow recruiting do tend to rely a bit more on rivals than the other sources, but that said, yeah, I can see the confusion.

In any case though, as we all know, at Illinois, high school ranking means nothing (If it did, with all the Top 50 players we've stockpiled over the past few years we should have had far more success) and it will depend on his oncourt effort. I think this is as good of a get as we could've gotten this late in the recruiting period and cheers to John Groce for picking him up. Sounds like a good pickup. And yes, Austin, if you work hard in and out of the classroom and graduate, an Illinois degree is a good one to have and in these bad economic times should give you a better chance of getting an opportunity and being successful at it after college. Best of luck to you and I look forward to seeing you wearing Orange.

JohnUI82 wrote on November 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

That different services give different players different rankings was not confusing. Moonpie merely saw a convenient excuse to take another shot at the News-Gazette in his characteristically immature way. Odd that he seems to spend so much time on its website. I wonder if he also frequents restaurants he dislikes so he can complain about the food and/or service. Must be a joy to be around.

Vrimja wrote on November 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Appropo to nothing...who was that warming up with the team for the Colgate game? It was not Ibby or Nnanna but was about their size. Thanks. Was I hallucinating?

illinigator wrote on November 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Moonpie can't you find another web site to blow your BS on! 

TheWholeTruth wrote on November 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

Does it really say 3 high schools in 4 years ? What good positive reason could there be for attending 3 high schools in 4 years?  Oh wait, didn't the Illini recruit someone else recently who did? Hmmmmm, who was that? I remember, it was Jereme Richmond! Are there any alarms going off in John Groce's head, or is the program this desperate already to be willing to go down the dysfuctional student-athlete road again?    

IlliniNationsCapital wrote on November 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm

This kid seems like a complete stud as a person, and has a great frame to be a great ballplayer too. He seems totally determined, and he went to Kyrie Irving and Mike Kidd-Gilchrist's powerhouse high school in New Jersey. Great get for Groce and company.