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Signing Verdis Brown is a big win for Illinois.

Verdis Brown signs with Illinois: Illini get 4-star OL recruit

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.

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.

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