Illinois inks four in early signing period

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Photo: Tony Dejak | AP

Illinois coach John Groce signed three freshman and a junior college prospect to his 2015 recruiting class Wednesday, the school announced. D.J. Williams and Jalen Coleman lead the class as top-100 freshmen. Shooting guard Aaron Jordan is also a touted recruit, and junior college forward Darius Paul is now rejoining the program.

“We look for a certain type of player who fits our culture, which I call an ‘Illini guy,'” Groce said in a release. “These young men are definitely Illini guys, and that also is a testament to the parents, families, coaches and friends who surround them.”

Paul, a former Western Michigan Bronco, transferred to the Illini and would have been eligible for this season. But he was suspended for the year after being arrested and subsequently left the program for JUCO.

“Regarding Darius, we have remained in communication with him and his family since he left last spring,” Groce said. “We are proud of the progress he has made both on and off the court. We look forward to his continued improvement and a successful return to our program.”

Williams and Coleman are two of Illinois’ top prospects. Williams is an athletic small forward who can put the ball on the floor.

“And D.J. is one of the most skilled and versatile players in the entire 2015 class,” Groce said. “He can play practically anywhere on the floor.”

Coleman is a natural scorer who can put the ball in hoop from the inside and the outside.

Jordan is another guard known primarily for his shooting ability.

“When looking at what they bring to the court, I don’t know if there’s a class in the country with a better set of shooters than Jalen and Aaron,” Groce said. “They are lights-out from the perimeter.”

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