Lovie Smith continues to raid the NCAA transfer portal. Another extremely talented player has decided to leave their original school and commit to Illinois this offseason.
Illinois landed a verbal commitment from former Miami wide receiver and four-star recruit Brian Hightower. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver joins the Illini after spending the last two seasons with the Hurricanes. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, but will not be immediately eligible in 2020 unless he’s granted a waiver from the NCAA.
— Brian Hightower (@longlivee14) April 28, 2020
Hightower was a four-star member of the 2018 recruiting class and was ranked No. 154 by 247Sports’ Composite rankings. He’s another talented prospect who Smith was able to land from the transfer portal, which has become a strength of Illinois’ program over the last few years.
During his two seasons at Miami, Hightower caught 12 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. He appeared in 18 career games with the Hurricanes.
The Fighting Illini are looking to continue to build talented depth on the roster, which has been an issue through Smith’s first four years with the team. Last year, Illinois showed some serious signs of improvement after finishing the regular season 6-6 and reaching a bowl game for the first time since 2014.
Illinois needed an upset win over Wisconsin and a 25-point comeback against Michigan State to reach bowl eligibility.