Lovie Smith and Illinois picked up a big recruit on Friday, landing the commitment of 4-star offensive lineman Verdis Brown.
Brown made the announcement at a news conference at Robert. A. Black Magnet Elementary School, where he signed with the Illini. The No. 6 center in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, Brown is a Chicago native who finished his prep career at IMG Academy in Florida.
What a way to end the signing period.
Shoutout to Robert. A. Black Elementary. 👊
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) December 22, 2017
Brown becomes the No. 2-ranked player in Illinois’ Class of 2018, behind 4-star defensive tackle Calvin Avery. Those are the only 4-star recruits in the Illini class.
Brown held offers from a number of top programs, including Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, Oklahoma and LSU. His commitment is a huge win for Smith as he tries to bring talent to Champaign, Ill.
Verdis Brown on picking #illini: "I want to give them hope."
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) December 22, 2017