By MATT GALLAGHERAssociated PressIllinois football is hoping to add some recruits from outside the state to its recruiting network this year.
One of the schools that Illinois has been recruiting is Ohio State, which has offered the Illinois wide receiver since January.
The Ohio State coaching staff recently told The Associated Press that it is considering Illinois as a destination for its receivers.
The Illini were also among the top recruiting targets for Illinois in 2017.
But it appears that interest has waned as Ohio State’s head coach and the Big Ten’s coaching staff have taken a harder line on recruiting in the past two years.
The school’s top targets this season include Texas A&M defensive back Jourdan Lewis, Georgia defensive back Trevonte Holmes, Florida defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Oklahoma defensive back Deandre Ware.
Other big targets are Michigan running back Derrius Guice, Tennessee defensive back Rashard Higgins, LSU defensive back Kaleb Eulls and Florida State wide receiver Rashad Ross.
Illinois has not announced whether it has signed Lewis, who was one of the top targets for the Buckeyes this season.
But he has a strong relationship with the Illini coaches.
Illini head coach Kevin Wilson has said Lewis would be a “good fit” for the program.
Lewis, who signed with the Buckeye program in February, has received more than 10,000 messages on Twitter since the Buckees’ coaching staff announced it would not be recruiting him in 2018.