Kofi Cockburn chooses Illinois over Pittsburgh, UConn

Top-35 big man Kofi Cockburn announced his commitment to Illinois on Sunday.

Cockburn, a 6-foot-10 center from Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), chose the Fighting Illini over Pittsburgh and UConn.

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Illini nation 🦍💯

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Cockburn trimmed his list of schools to five earlier in the recruiting process, leaving Pittsburgh, UConn, Illinois, St. John's and Kansas vying for his services. UConn seemed like the early favorite, as Cockburn visited the campus unofficially and then took an official visit in late October. However, Brad Underwood and the Fighting Illini -- including assistant coach Orlando Antigua -- made a strong push in recent weeks and brought Cockburn to campus in late December. Illinois had picked up some momentum heading into the visit and sealed his commitment while in Champaign.

Ranked No. 32 in the ESPN 100 for the 2019 class, Cockburn slots in as the No. 8 center in the country. At around 280-290 pounds, Cockburn is a dominant physical force in the paint. On the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, Cockburn averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds, while shooting 53.9 percent from the field.

Underwood now has two prospects in the fold for 2019, with Cockburn joining three-star center Antwan January. Other targets for the Illini include ESPN 100 wings Christian Brown and Terrence Shannon Jr.