WCIA — One of Illinois football’s top commits in the transfer portal for next season is heading to Auburn instead. Avery Jones announced Tuesday he has flipped his commitment from the Illini to the Tigers, after the Eastern Carolina offensive lineman originally pledged to play for Illinois last month.

Jones plays center and was a plug and play option for the Illini to replace Alex Pihlstrom at the position. Instead the No. 3 interior offensive lineman in the 247Sports transfer portal player rankings will suit up in the SEC.

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema quote tweeted Jones’ announcement post Tuesday afternoon, saying, “College football is changing everyday #NIL”. Bielema also quote tweeted a post from Illini Inquirer’s Jeremy Werner saying, “Loss???? #ILL”

The Illini offensive line loses two starters for next year with Pihlstrom and Alex Palczewski both graduating. The group does get its other three starters back, with Isaiah Adams, Julian Pearl and Zy Crisler all returning, plus a sixth year from Jordyn Slaughter, who played a significant role last season.