Illinois found itself in a recruiting battle with Missouri for one of the top offensive linemen out of the St. Louis area. Unfortunately for the Illini, they didn’t win this round.

Thursday evening, Jalen St. John announced his commitment to Mizzou, a blow to Lovie Smith and Illinois. St. John had taken three visits to Champaign since April and was a high priority for the Illini.

St. John made his announcement via Twitter.

According to 247Sports, St. John ranks as the No. 11 player out of Missouri and is the No. 37 offensive guard in the 2020 class. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman ranks just outside the top 600 players in the class.

Illinois wasn’t the only B1G program interested in St. John. The big-bodied lineman also held offers from Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue.

Currently, the Illini sit below the top 100 in the national recruiting rankings, coming in at No. 103. They are dead last in the B1G, having just three players verbally committed.