Marking his program's fourth commitment in the 2013 high school class, Illinois basketball coach John Groce's scholarship offer was accepted by Chicago Simeon Career Academy's Jaylon Tate on Thursday after an official campus visit, as reported by Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago.
A three-star prospect according to Scout.com, Tate also held offers from Colorado State, DePaul, Northwestern, Xavier and Providence. Teammate of Illinois' top-ranked prospect in the class, four-star guard Kendrick Nunn, the 6'2, 180-pound Tate is expected to offer depth at the point guard position first and foremost on Groce's guard-depleted roster.
Now another name in a long line of past Simeon players to don the orange and blue, Tate joins former Simeon standouts Calvin Brock, Nick Anderson, Deon Thomas, Kevin Turner, Bryant Notree and Stan Simpson as players who eventually landed at Illinois at some point during their careers.
Though Tate is not viewed in the same light nationally as he once was while playing for neighboring De La Salle, his signing still represents an important link to Simeon's program with which Groce obviously does not want to part. As ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin notes, keeping the Simeon pipeline intact may require adding a handful of lesser known players like Tate every now and then in order to keep players like Nunn coming.
"I think that this is very significant," Rankin said. "It's one of the elite programs in the city. People associated Simeon with talented basketball players and a good program in Chicago. You've established a great foundation there. They got kids coming behind them."