Bill Cubit needed a late boost after top linebacker T.J. Neal announced that he was transferring.

Two days before National Signing Day, that’s exactly what he got.

According to’s Jeremy Werner, former Michigan recruit De’le Harding chose Illinois over Rutgers. Harding was the top-rated player among Illinois’ remaining targets.

The three-star linebacker is the 724th-rated player nationally and the 28th-rated inside linebacker in the 2016 class, according to 247sports. With the commitment, Harding became the second-highest rated player in Illinois’ incoming class.

As a true freshman, the 6-1, 230-pound Maryland native could have a chance to play right away with Illinois thin at the position. Neal, LaKeith Walls and B.J. Bello all transferred for their final seasons of eligibility.

Illinois currently has the 12th-ranked class in the B1G and the 68th-ranked class nationally.