Three-star athlete Drake Spears Jr., of Aurora West High School in Aurora, Illinois, near Chicago, has committed to the University of Illinois. A member of the Class of 2016, whom ESPN lists as a safety, Spears announced his decision on his personal Twitter page.
Spears had also received an offer from Buffalo, but will instead head to Illinois and play for coach Tim Beckman, who has done nothing but take the Fighting Illini forward since arriving from Toledo in 2012.
Beckman has gone just 12-25 (4-20 Big Ten) in three seasons, but the team’s win total has increased in each of them and Illinois made its first bowl game since 2011 last season. In the Heart of Dallas Bowl, Illinois lost to Louisiana Tech.
Now, Beckman will have a fine player in Spears arriving in 2016. Just what position Spears will end up playing remains to be seen, as 247 Sports lists him as an “athlete,” but he’ll surely inject life into an Illinois squad that has not had a truly great season in over a decade.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports