COMMITT: Three-star DB Zachary Tobe flips to Illinois
Three-star defensive back Zachary Tobe backed out of a commitment to North Carolina and committed to Illinois early Saturday morning.
Tobe announced his commitment to the Fighting Illini in an exclusive story from USA Today Sports. He becomes commitment No. 15 for the Illini in the class of 2023.
Tobe committed to North Carolina back in late June. He took an official visit to Illinois the weekend of June 17, and the Illini continued to recruit him led by defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ryan Walters.
"For me, I have to go where I feel most comfortable," Tobe told USA Today. "Somewhere that I feel I can stand out and be different. Choosing Illinois isn’t an easy decision at all, but I have to use my head. I’m thinking about who I’m going to be, who I’m going to be with, how many guys they’re recruiting at my position and what the culture is there."
Other offer from Tobe included Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraksa, Louisville, Maryland, Purdue,
Tobe had 31 tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions last season as a junior at Ocoee High School in the Orlando, Florida area. He also runs tracke at Ocoee.
One of the main things that Tobe said flipped him to Illinois was his relationship with the Illini coaching staff, including Walters and cornerbacks coach Aaron Henry.
"With coach Walters, he can really develop me," Tobe said. "Last year, they had a player at my position who got drafted and it was his first year playing safety. That shows the kind of coach he is and what can do with me when I get up there. "Coach Henry, the cornerbacks coach up there, I connected with him as well. I’m going in as a corner, so being able to connect with both secondary coaches really stood out to me, too."