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CHAMPAIGN — The first domino of the 2020 Illinois basketball recruiting class fell on Saturday afternoon.

The Illini got a verbal commitment from 3-star forward Coleman Hawkins of Prolific Prep School in California. Hawkins is a 6-foot-10, 195-pound forward who has good ball-handling skills and can shoot the ball well. He announced his decision on social media.

He chose Illinois over  of Rutgers and San Diego State, where his father Rodney Hawkins played. He also held offers from Marquette, Arizona, Boise State and more. Hawkins is the No. 37-ranked power forward in the nation, according to 247Sports.

It's the first verbal commitment for Illinois head coach Brad Underwood in the Class of 2020. Priority target Adam Miller from Chicago Morgan Park took his official visit to Illinois over the weekend, and the four-star guard is a key piece of the class.

Illinois will have at least two open scholarships after guard Andres Feliz and forward Kipper Nichols each run out of eligibility. Hawkins' commitment would make that one more open spot. The Illini will have an additional scholarship if guard Ayo Dosunmu declares for the NBA, creating another open space.

When considering the roster a year from now, it's also important to remember that transfer wing players Austin Hutcherson and Jacob Grandison will be eligible after sitting out the upcoming season, per NCAA transfer rules.


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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25

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