By Roy & Harv Schmidt
Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich landed an outstanding inaugural recruiting class for 2008 and is now on the verge of turning in another banner one in the class of 2009. The Redbirds picked up their third commitment from that class tonight in the form of a high scoring point guard from Chicago. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has further details in this blog.
Reliable sources have informed us that Illinois State University has received a verbal commitment from 5'11 point guard Terrance Johnson from St. Rita High School in Chicago. Johnson chose the Redbirds over offers from Loyola-Chicago, Miami-Ohio, and several others.
Johnson was injured during the early part of the summer and missed a couple of events during the first half of the July evaluation period, most notably the Next Level Invitational in Milwaukee. However, he battled back and was just as solid during the second half of July while playing for the Mac Irvin Fire as he was throughout the spring.
Above everything else, we consider Johnson to be a scoring point guard. He has outstanding speed and quickness which allow him to get to the basket with regularity, where he usually finishes or ends up at the free throw line. Not only that, but Johnson also has the ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc and his overall playmaking skills have improved tremendously in comparison with a year ago. He is also an outstanding student.
Johnson's commitment caps off an outstanding week for the Redbirds, as he becomes their third commitment this week from the class of 2009. Earlier in the week head coach Tim Jankovich secured commitments from 6'7 John Ekey and 6'4 Justin Clark, both from Chrisman High School in Independence, MO. A huge amount of credit must also go to assistant coach Paris Parham, who was the lead Redbird in Johnson's recruitment.
Despite their success and their scholarship situation, Illinois State is still not done with respect to recruiting the class of 2009. They will now turn their foremost attention to landing a wing, and two of their foremost priorities also compete on the traveling team circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire, those being 6'5 Tony Nixon from Seton Academy in South Holland, IL and 6'5 Zeke Upshaw from University Lab School in Chicago. The Redbirds also remain in the running for 6'7 Shaun Pratl from Richards High School in Oak Lawn, IL and 6'1 Dyricus Simms-Edwards from Washington High School in Washington.