Owen Carney, a highly recruited defensive end from Miami, delivered a Christmas Day gift to the good folks of Champaign, Ill.
“I just love the way the coaching staff took me in,” Carney told 247Sports as to why he selected Illinois over finalists Maryland and Kansas State. “I liked their loyalty and honesty with me since July. Plus I would have a great chance of early playing time there and possibly be a freshman All-American.”
Carney also had offers from Florida State and Big Ten rivals Indiana and Purdue.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound weak-side defensive end is the No. 476 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting class. He is ranked No. 29 at his position and is the No. 65 recruit from Florida, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
Carney is Illinois coach Lovie Smith’s 17th commit in the 2017 class, which ranks No. 42 nationally and 10th in the Big Ten.