- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Tim Beckman is filling up his first full class at Illinois early, especially on the defensive line, and the first-year Fighting Illini coach added another piece Wednesday.
Detroit Cass Tech defensive tackle Kenton Gibbs is the latest commitment for Illinois and called the verbal a “no-brainer.”
Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore, who has been successful at putting linemen in the NFL over the last few years, was a major factor in Gibbs’ commitment.
“Coach Gilmore was a big factor, and he was the only holdover from the old staff,” Gibbs said.
Defensive tackles Jarrod Clements and Merrick Jackson are already committed to Illinois, so Gibbs knew if he waited too long he might no longer have a spot.
“Illinois is a school I’m highly interested in,” he said. “I’m not going to leave that spot on the table and regret it.”
Gibbs said the staff is fine with him continuing to make visits and camp at other programs, though, so there is still some question as to whether he will sign with Illinois come February.
“Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Alabama and LSU,” Gibbs said are the programs he could visit at some point.
Illinois has nine commitments in its 2013 class, which is third-most in the Big Ten.
548dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert