Hightower ‘feeling good’ after breakout game with Illini


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Brian Hightower came to Champaign looking for a reset. After two games with the Illini, he’s well on his way. The Miami transfer has started both games at wide receiver for Illinois and had a career day against Purdue on Saturday, catching four passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.

“You know it does feel good that I came here to chase a dream obviously and you create opportunity in this game and I’ve just got to keep working hard and not get complacent,” Hightower said.

The junior wideout made a splash with the Hurricanes as a freshman, his first collegiate catch was a 32-yard pass for a touchdown against LSU. The former consensus four-star prospect did not record a catch in his second year though, announcing his intent to transfer last October. Hightower verbally committed to Illinois in April and the California native has quickly rose up the depth chart.

“He’s a pro, I’m talking about at his position,” Illinois head coach Lovie Smith said. “He’s serious about doing his job, he’s a disciplined player, works extremely hard, came here with a purpose.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.