Illinois fans can finally exhale: Prized recruit Kofi Cockburn, who committed to the Illini in January, indicated that he has signed his national letter of intent with a tweet Tuesday night, six days into the spring signing period.
Illinois confirmed the signing Wednesday morning, with coach Brad Underwood calling the big man a "difference maker."
"It is rare that you see a young man with his size who also has great athleticism and agility," Underwood said in a statement. "He has a unique skill set to go along with his 7-foot, 290-pound frame in that he moves really well and is a good passer. With his size, ability to finish, and rebounding power, Kofi will impact the game on both ends of the floor."
The Jamaican-born Cockburn is a center at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. The four-star prospect is the No. 41 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings.
He is the highest rated post recruit to join Illinois since Meyers Leonard, who currently plays with the Blazers, signed in 2010.
The Illini also expect 6-10 Bernard Kouma of New York to sign during the spring period. A third big man, 6-11 Antwan January of Santa Monica, Calif., is listed as an Illinois commitment but reportedly is unlikely to sign.
DePaul: The Blue Demons announced the transfer, reported Monday, of point guard Charlie Moore from Kansas. The 2016 Mr. Basketball winner in Illinois, the 5-11 Moore averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 assists in 35 games for the Jayhawks as a redshirt sophomore this past season. He averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists as a freshman at California in 2016-17.
"Charlie Moore adds an all-around experienced guard to our program that can shoot and distribute the ball at a high level," coach Dave Leitao said in a statement. "He also brings high-level experience from playing in both the Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences, and his return to his hometown is exciting for our fans and basketball fans in Chicago."
Northwestern: The Wildcats officially added the third member of their 2019 recruiting class when Jared Jones, a 6-10, 230-pound big man from suburban Atlanta, signed his national letter of intent. Jones, a three-star prospect and onetime Auburn commitment, committed to Northwestern in September but did not sign during the early period with four-star forward Robbie Beran of Richmond, Va., and three-star point guard Daniel Buie of Bethel, Maine.
Jones comes to Evanston from a powerhouse program at McEachern in Powder Springs, Ga., which went 32-0 this past season, won the Class 7A state title and was ranked No. 1 in the country by PrepNation. In a statement, coach Chris Collins called Jones "a winner and a high-character young man with a great work ethic" and said he "has an unbelievable combination of size, skill and athleticism."
With only six returning scholarship players, the Wildcats have four open scholarships for 2019-20 and have been exploring transfer options. Former Young guard Javon Freeman, who averaged 11 points as a freshman at Valparaiso this past season, visited last week.
Northwestern: On the first day of the spring signing period for the Class of 2019, the Wildcats landed their first commitment in the Class of 2020. Joe Bamisile, a 6-5 shooting guard from Richmond, Va., announced he will play for coach Chris Collins in Evanston. The Wildcats beat out Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, among others, for Bamisile, who averaged 28.7 points as a junior.
While he's listed as a three-star recruit and ranked No. 212 in the nation in the 247Sports.com composite, which aggregates multiple recruiting services, 247's own rankings have Bamisile much higher: a four-star rating and No. 100 nationally.
Loyola: The Ramblers added to the three players they signed in November with a pair of junior-college transfers. Keith Clemons, a 6-1 guard originally from Norcross, Ga., and 6-4 guard Jalon Pipkins of Paris, Texas, will join the team in the fall with two seasons of eligibility.
Clemons averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists this past season for Vincennes (Ind.), which went 34-2 and won the NJCAA Division I national title. In a statement, coach Porter Moser called Clemons "an absolute winner" with "a high basketball IQ."
Pipkins, who began his college career at Cal State Northridge in 2017-18, averaged 21.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists and shot 35.8 percent on 3-pointers for Paris Community College. Moser said Pipkins "has the athleticism to be a great two-way player in the (Missouri) Valley. He's long, competitive, has range from 3 and can finish at the rim."
They join Brother Rice guard Marquise Kennedy, Naperville North forward Tom Welch and guard Paxson Wojcik of La Lumiere in Indiana in the Ramblers' 2019 class.
Illinois: The Illini have commitments from three big men, although there are reports that 6-11 Antwan January of Santa Monica, Calif., is unlikely to sign.
The headliner of the class, 7-footer Kofi Cockburn of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, told WCIA-TV's Bret Beherns he is waiting to sign when his mother arrives from Jamaica, likely Friday. Cockburn is a four-star recruit and the No. 41 prospect in the nation in the composite rankings.
The Illini also expect 6-10 Bernard Kouma of New York, who committed last week, to sign before the spring period ends May 15.
Illinois: The Illini reportedly have added a third player -- all three of them big men -- to their 2019 class. Bernard Kouma, a 6-10 power forward from Our Saviour Lutheran School in New York, committed to Illinois on Monday evening, according to a tweet from Pat Lawless of PrepCircuit.com.
Kouma would join 7-foot center Kofi Cockburn -- a four-star recruit and top-50 national prospect from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia -- and 6-11 center Antwan January, a three-star from Santa Monica, Calif., in Illinois' 2019 class.