- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
Here's a look at how programs in the Big Ten are faring on the recruiting trail heading into national signing day on Feb. 5.
ESPN 300 commitments: 0
Who they have: There is a lot of immediate help in this class for Illinois, starting with ESPN JC 50 defensive tackle Jihad Ward. The big lineman has been tweeting that he might be wavering in his commitment, but if Illinois can hang on, he would be a big addition to the class. Wide receiver was also a priority this year with four receivers leaving the roster. The coaching staff was able to secure juco receivers Tyrin Stone-Davis and Geronimo Allison, who will compete for spots right away in offensive coordinator Bill Cubit's system. This class filled a lot of needs for Illinois, and with a disappointing season in 2013, it could help turn things around quickly.
Who they want: There are still a few spots left for Illinois and depending on what happens the next few weeks, there could be a few new names on the board. If Ward decides to go elsewhere, the staff will likely need to fill that spot. Quarterback Jeff George Jr. is still an option, but most likely for a grayshirt for next season.