Derrick Smith

Miami defensive back Derrick Smith (25) will transfer to Illinois. The now former Hurricanes' safety will sit out the 2019 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football might be just more than a week away from its Aug. 31 season opener, but that doesn't mean the Illini are done roster building.

Miami's Derrick Smith announced he will transfer to Illinois on Friday evening. The now former Hurricanes' safety will sit out this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

"I will be attending the university of Illinois I want to thank coach Lovie Smith and coach Keynodo Hudson for the opportunity," Smith tweeted, choosing the Illini over Texas, Florida and Nebraska.

Smith played in 12 games in 2018 for Miami and finished his sophomore season with 11 tackles. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Jacksonville, Fla., native had 13 tackles in 13 games as a true freshman in 2017 playing as a "striker" for the Hurricanes.

Smith was a three-star recruit out of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. He teamed up with Illini defensive lineman Deon Pate with the Conquerors.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).