Illinois head football coach Lovie Smith added to his 2017 recruiting class Tuesday when three-star running back Ra’Von Bonner offered up a verbal pledge to play for the Illini.
Bonner took to Twitter to announce his decision.
“I’m so in love with you Jesus,” Bonner said on the social media site while first quoting bible scriptures. “I’ve prayed about this since I started to play this game to glorify Jesus while doing so. I’ve talked it over with my family and coach. Football is one of my mission fields to advance God’s kingdom. This is just clarification! I am so blessed to be able to play for not just great coaches but great people. How can you stop God’s plan? You can’t! I am very blessed to announce that I will be furthering my academic and football career at the University of Illinois.”
— Ra'Von M. Bonner (@cantguardray_21) September 28, 2016
Bonner, a 5’11”, 190-pound running back from Cincinnati, Ohio (Sycamore High School) is rated as a three-star recruit according to 247Sports. The site ranks him as the No. 1432 overall prospect in the 2017 class and the 95th-best running back in the country. 247Sports also regards Bonner as the 57th-best football player in the state of Ohio.
He chose the Illini while holding offers from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan. Bonner was getting a lot of looks from major programs, too, as he was receiving interest from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State and Tennessee.
Bonner is the 12th recruit to pledge to play for Smith’s 2017 recruiting class. It is a class that 247Sports currently ranks as the 55th-best recruiting class in the country and 11th-best among Big Ten teams.