By Roy & Harv Schmidt
We told everyone just a couple of days ago that Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich and his assistants were not done when it came to recruiting prospects from the class of 2009 and sure enough we were right on the money. The Redbirds capped off an absolutely stellar recruiting week by receiving their fourth commitment from the class in the form of a tall and athletic wing from Chicago. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye fills everyone in with the particulars in this blog.
Sources have informed us that 6'5 shooting guard Zeke Upshaw from University Lab School in Chicago verbally committed to Illinois State University last night. Upshaw chose the Redbirds over offers from Wagner, Albany and a slew of other Missouri Valley schools.
Upshaw visited the Illinois State campus over the weekend (on Saturday) and made his commitment official Sunday night. As has been the case with all of the Redbirds' previous commitments, Upshaw was extremely impressed with the campus atmosphere at Illinois State as well as the coaching staff and the opportunity to play for a program that is undoubtedly on the rise in the Missouri Valley.
There is no question that Upshaw will give coach Jankovich further depth at the 2-guard position, as he has ideal size and above-average athleticism. His forte is being able to consistently spot up and knock down shots from beyond the arc. He also has a long wing span which allows him to get into the passing lanes and reek havoc defensively.
Upshaw was most solid this spring and summer competing on the traveling team circuit with the Mac Irvin FIre. He becomes Illinois State's second commitment in the 2009 class from the Fire AAU program, as 5'11 point guard Terrance Johnson from St. Rita High School in Chicago announced his commitment to the Redbirds this past Friday. Like Johnson, Upshaw is also an elite student.
With Upshaw now in the fold, Illinois State is now one player over its scholarship limit assuming that freshman walk-on Kellen Thornton is given a scholarship. However, we have no doubt whatsoever that Illinois State's scholarship situation will end up sorting itself out accordingly.