>>Illini Sign Best Class of Beckman Era
Illinois on Wednesday added the highest-rated signing class since Tim Beckman became coach before the 2012 season.
The Illini got a boost this week when highly regarded running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn of Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago defensive lineman Jamal Milan chose Illinois.
Rivals.com ranks Illinois' class 46th in the country and sixth in the 14-team Big Ten.
Beckman said the team's December trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl helped strengthen the class. Illinois (6-7) hadn't been to a bowl game since the 2011 season.
>>Illinois State Coach Pleased With National Signing Day
FCS national runner-up Illinois State announced the signing of 22 high school seniors as part of its 2015 recruiting class on Wednesday.
The Redbirds had added transfers Stephen Amoako (defensive back, Oregon), David Kenney (defensive lineman, Indiana) and Reggie Spearman (linebacker, Iowa) prior to the start of the spring semester.
Wednesday's signees included 13 players from the state of Illinois as well as players from Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Texas.
Illinois State lost to North Dakota State last month in its first appearance in the national championship game. The Redbirds finished 13-2 while setting a program record for wins in a season.