Djimde makes it 7 for Illini, Jerrance Howard

With the Sunday morning commitment of Djimde, a West Virginia prep school player, Howard has now been the lead recruiter for all six incoming freshmen next year -- De La Salle's Mike Shaw, Orr's Mycheal Henry, Mt. Carmel's Tracy Abrams, St. Ignatius' Nnanna Egwu and Devin Langford out of Alabama -- and a senior transfer, former Bradley point guard Sam Maniscalco. Seven recruits? In one class?

That, folks, just doesn't happen. Do you realize the time commitment that goes into recruiting, landing and signing just one or two prospects in any single class while singling out others in younger classes? And so much for Illinois not being able to recruit the city of Chicago.

While Djimde may not bring the national ranking the others in the class will be able to put in the media guide, by all accounts he will be a key and pivotal piece. The description of Djimde, a 6-9, 240-pound true power forward, is what Illinois has lacked -- big, strong, physical post who plays hard and with a ton of energy. Who cares if his offense is lacking, so say those who have watched him. The native of Mali in Africa fills a monstrous void the Illinois program has been lacking.

Joe Henricksen





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