2013 center Maverick Morgan verbally commits to John Groce at Illinois

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John Groce secured the first commitment of his tenure at Illinois on Wednesday, as 2013 center Maverick Morgan tweeted his intentions to play for the Illini.

Morgan, a 6-10, 235-pound native of Springboro, Ohio, joins guard Malcolm Hill as the two prospects committed to Illinois, with Hill having pledged his name while Bruce Weber was still the head man in Champaign.

“I’ve known the staff for over a year from (them recruiting me at Ohio,)” Morgan told ESPNChicago.com. “I was at the campus all day (Tuesday), (they) showed me around and saw all the facilities. I think coach (John) Groce is going to do a good job there. Seeing what he’s laid out there for his players, everyone who goes there they’re going to get better and better.

“I’m happy to join the Illinois family. It’s kind of exciting.”

Groce came to Illinois from Ohio after leading the Bobcats to a berth in the Sweet 16.

With his size and weight, Morgan still may not be done growing, meaning there is still a good deal of upside. Illinois recently sent seven-footer Meyers Leonard to the draft and he is projected to be a lottery pick.

For now, Morgan excels most as a shot-blocker and rebounder, and continues to develop skills on the offensive end.

Under Bruce Weber this past season, the Illini finished 17-15 last season, including 6-12 in the Big Ten.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_