CHICAGO (WCIA) — In just about two months, Illinois football will be back on the field at Memorial Stadium for the beginning of Spring practice. There, what is left of one of the best Illini teams in recent memory will be joined by one of the better recruiting classes in recent memory.

Simeon wide receiver Malik Elzy headlines the class as the highest ranked ahead of Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond running back Kaden Feagin, though Elzy did not enroll early. The Chicago native becomes the highest rated in-state commit since Gabe Megginson all the way back in 2015. Being the start of an in-state movement in Illinois was important for the young pass catcher.

“I see what Coach [Bret] Bielema is doing at Illinois, like he’s trying to change the program around,” Elzy said. “By doing that you gotta keep the top in-state kids, in-state. And I feel like I can stay in-state and be that pipeline for kids under me and athletes just to stay home.”

The Illini have the 45th-best high school class in the country, according to 247Sports.