UI football lands another 2023 recruit | Sports

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois football’s run of June commitments continued Thursday with a verbal pledge from Ocoee (Fla.) Edge rusher Calvin Smith. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, who projects as an outside linebacker in Illini defensive coordinator Ryan Walter’s scheme, committed to Illinois after visiting campus last weekend.

Smith, who is ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and On3, is Illinois’ 12th total commitment in the Class of 2023, eighth this month and second this week. Fellow three-star edge rusher Mason Muragin committed Tuesday as the Illini bolstered the defensive side of the class this month.

Smith helped Ocoee to 6-4 last fall. He was third on the team with 62 tackles but tied Jordan Phillips – now a freshman at Tennessee – with 29 tackles for loss. Smith also had 10 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries as a junior for the Knights.

Smith also visited Pittsburgh on June 2 and Rutgers on June 10 before his trip to Champaign and commitment to the Illini. He had other listed offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Marshall, Michigan State, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Penn State, Temple, Tennessee, UAB, USF, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Western Kentucky.

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is [email protected], and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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