Illinois coach John Groce put the finishing touches on his 2013 recruiting class Wednesday with a commitment from Austin Colbert, a 6-9, 205-pound power forward out of Gladstone, NJ.
Colbert, who had Miami-Florida, Seton Hall and Villanova among his final four, is currently the No. 91 ranked player in the country by Rivals.com. With Colbert in the fold, along with Simeon's Kendrick Nunn and Belleville East's Malcolm Hill, Groce has nabbed three players who are ranked in at least one national top 100 list.
Big man Maverick Morgan, a 6-10 center out of Ohio who is in Rivals.com's top 150, and Simeon point guard Jaylon Tate round out the five-player class.
Colbert visited Illinois in late September, added Villanova to his list late in the game and was early on considered a slight Miami lean. But Groce and assistant coach Dustin Ford continued to pursue the athletic 4-man and wrapped up what is a solid recruiting class.
On signing day next week, Groce will welcome a balanced, well-rounded class that includes a player at all five positions. In just a little over seven months on the job, here's how balanced and well-rounded Groce's class is in 2013 and all that he and his staff accomplished:
• Locked up two of the top three prospects in the state in Nunn and Hill in what is a very solid class in Illinois.
• Opened the pipeline to the state's top program, Simeon, with the addition of Nunn and Tate.
• Tapped into both the Chicago Public League and downstate Illinois/St. Louis area.
• Landed the always-coveted, difficult-to-find true 5-man in Morgan, who is all of 6-10 and 240-plus pounds.
• And went the distance in a recruiting battle with a second out-of-state recruit at a much-needed position.
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