Gladstone (NJ) Gil St. Bernard forward Austin Colbert has been on the national radar since his freshman year. The 6-foot-8 Colbert flashed enormous potential and began reeling in offers before long, but a school that got in the mix following his junior season has now pulled in his commitment.
"I am blessed and honored to say I will be attending the University of Illinois," proclaimed Colbert.
Illinois Head Coach John Groce knew he would have to re-build things some in Champaign and key in that was a dominant point guard, scoring on the wing, and some athleticism at the power forward position. One of his key targets was Colbert, and on Monday that hard work paid off when Colbert made his decision.
In the end it came down to Illinois, Villanova, and Miami for Colbert, and for a while it seemed that the Hurricanes held the lead, but down the stretch the Illini kept gaining ground. Illinois hosted Colbert on an official visit that he loved, and with strong a strong effort from assistant coach Dustin Ford, the Illini reeled in the commitment.
This is the fifth commitment for the Illini in the 2013 class. Four-star in-state wings Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn headline the class that also features three-star point guard Jaylon Tate and three-star center Maverick Morgan. It is a class that now ranks in the top 20.