Basketball, football pick up star commitments for 2018

It was a big weekend for both Illinois basketball and football.

Both teams locked down commitments from high-profile recruits during each of their respective visits.

The Illini men’s basketball team landed a commitment from its third member of the 2018 recruiting class.

Samba Kane comes in as a 7-foot power forward out of Florida Preparatory Academy. Originally from Senegal, Africa, Kane only recently fell under head coach Brad Underwood’s radar. His official visit to the University was on March 7, and the Illini staff landed his commitment following the end of his visit on March 9.

At first, Kane was a member of the 2019 class, but he reclassified to make himself eligible for 2018. The three-star forward, according to 247sports, received offers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Massachusetts and Rutgers. He also drew interest from Louisville, Wichita State and Arizona State.

Kane joins a 2018 class that consists of five-star guard Ayo Dosunmu and three-star guard Alan Griffin.

Only two days later, head coach Lovie Smith landed the highest-rated recruit for Illinois football since Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson in 2006.

Four-star Marquez Beason, out of Texas, announced over Twitter on Saturday that he committed to Illinois over the likes of Ohio State, LSU and Texas A&M.

Beason is the No. 54 -ranked player in the 2019 class and has the ability to play on both sides of the ball. The 5-foot-11 junior in high school had already received over 40 offers at his time of commitment.

Listed as a wide receiver and a defensive back, Beason has been recruited for both positions.

Texas continues to be a successful area for Smith and his coaching staff. Beason will join the likes of 2018 class members Calvin Avery and Kievan Myers, all three of which attended Bishop Dunne High School. Other commits from the Lone Star State include quarterback MJ Rivers, running back Ezekiel Holmes and cornerback Nicholas Walker.

The football team is currently running spring practices.

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