CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Power 5 conference program known for using the transfer portal for success has found another player willing to move to Illinois.
Brian Hightower, a former four-star 2018 receiver prospect from IMG Academy, announced Tuesday afternoon his verbal intention to transfer from Miami to Illinois.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver was a consensus four-star prospect by ESPN.com, 247Sports.com and Rivals.com and listed as 36th-best wide receiver and 32nd-best prospect in state of Florida by 247Sports.com after making the 2,600-mile journey to transfer from Calabasas (Calif.) High School to IMG Academy in Florida. Hightower was selected to 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio after leading IMG Academy with 35 catches for 445 yards and five touchdowns and he choose Miami over scholarships offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Auburn and Southern California.
Unless Hightower were to receive a transfer waiver, he’ll be forced to sit out the next football season but still have two years of playing eligibility left.
Hightower continues the list of success stories for Lovie Smith’s Illini program in the transfer market that includes quarterback Brandon Peters, pass rusher Oluwole Betiku Jr., wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, linebacker Milo Eifler, wide receiver Trevon Sidney, offensive lineman Richie Petitbon and wide receiver Donny Navarro. Illinois will also get the services of sit-out transfers Luke Ford (TE from Georgia) and Derrick Smith (LB from Miami-Florida) for the upcoming season. The Illini have also added instantly eligible transfers Christian Bell (LB/DE from Wisconsin), Blake Jeresaty (OL from Wofford) and Desmond Dan (WR from New Mexico State) for next year.