Late last week, Illinois confirmed that Miami transfer wide receiver Jeff Thomas had signed a financial aid agreement and will enroll at the university in the spring of 2019. Not long after, one of Thomas’ high school teammates indicated he’s joining the same Big Ten program as well.
On social media, Rey Estes announced that he has decided to transfer from Minnesota. Not only that, but the defensive back confirmed that his landing spot will be, you guessed it, Illinois.
Estes, then a quarterback, and Thomas were teammates at East St. Louis High School. The Belleville News-Democrat writes that “Estes and Thomas connected memorably on a 23-yard touchdown pass as time expired to defeat Glenbard North in the 7A quarterfinals [in November of 2016] and keep their championship season alive.”
“Buckle up! I’m home! Thankful for this opportunity and chance to continue to play B10 ball!” Estes wrote on his Instagram account.
Estes was a three-star member of the Gopher’s 2017 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in one game this past season.
In confirming Thomas’ addition to the roster, Lovie Smith said in a statement that the football program “will fully support his efforts for immediate eligibility at Illinois.” It’s unclear at the moment if Estes will seek immediate eligibility as well.