CHAMPAIGN — The strong offseason for the Illinois football team continued Monday with the addition of graduate transfer wide receiver A.D. Miller.
Miller is transferring to Illinois from the University of Oklahoma, where he spent four seasons and played three after redshirting in 2017 with an injury.
He verbally committed to Illinois in 2014 out of Bishop Dunne High School in Texas, but decommitted and signed with Oklahoma. Miller has signed a Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid and plans to enroll at Illinois this spring, head coach Lovie Smith announced.
Miller is a graduate transfer who will be immediately eligible for one season.
At Oklahoma, he had 21 receptions for 236 yards and four touchdowns in three seasons.
“As his situation changed, A.D. saw an opportunity that was better for him heading into his senior season,” Smith said. “This move, like many graduate transfers, is a chance to hit the restart button at a place he is already familiar with and a spot where he can contribute immediately. As I’ve gotten to talk to and know A.D., I have no doubt he will be a positive addition as a player and as a leader for our team.”
Miller was a consensus three-star recruit out of Dallas’ Bishop Dunne, with offers from the Illini, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and others. He had over 1,500 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns in his final two prep seasons.
Bishop Dunne is the home of two current Illini freshmen: Offensive lineman Kievan Myers and defensive lineman Calvin Avery.
Miller is the second transfer to sign a Big Ten Tender with Illinois along with former Miami wide receiver Jeff Thomas, who announced plans to transfer last month.
An All-American as a prep at East St. Louis, Thomas picked the Hurricanes over the Illini, but got booted from Miami’s program this fall with then-coach Mark Richt saying: “We have high standards for excellence ... conduct and commitment.”
Thomas, who scored five touchdowns over two seasons at Miami, said in a since-deleted tweet he did not get kicked out, saying he came to an “agreement” with Richt.
Thomas was benched during stretches of games last season. A 2017 documentary on his East St. Louis team called “89 Blocks” documented his uneven behavior and a string of missed practices.
The addition of Miller to Thomas is another piece to an offseason that figures to bring an influx of talent for Smith, who will enter his fourth season as head coach.
Illinois signed a small, but strong, recruiting class during the early signing period and landed a verbal commitment from four-star linebacker Shammond Cooper last week. Cooper will be eligible to sign his National Letter of Intent during National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
Tight end Luke Ford, the top player in Illinois in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports, and a native of Carterville, announced his intent to transfer to Illinois last week.
Ford was the nation’s No. 51 prospect last year and chose Georgia, where he appeared in nine games, making a four-yard catch. He hopes to gain immediate eligibility, citing the deteriorating health of his grandparents.
Both Ford and Thomas will file waivers to be eligible immediately. If those are not granted, both players will have to sit out a season, per NCAA transfer rules.