It’s also Illinois’ first five-star commitment since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007.
Fears, the younger brother of Michigan State freshman guard Jeremy Fears Jr., chose the Fighting Illini over Providence, although Michigan, Kansas and Ole Miss were also on his final list.
“It’s my hometown school. I want to win and be a hometown hero,” Fears told ESPN. “They’ve been recruiting me the longest and the hardest, since the eighth grade. I have a great relationship with Brad Underwood and staff.”
A 6-foot-2 guard from Joliet, Illinois, who attends AZ Compass Prep (Arizona), Fears is ranked No. 16 in the ESPN 60 for the 2025 class.
Fears played for the Bradley Beal Elite grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, averaging 9.9 points and 3.1 assists. He has had a productive high school season as well, averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in EYBL Scholastic games.
Fears is a confident scorer who is transitioning to the point guard position. He scores the ball with natural instincts, a burst of speed and an ability to get to the free throw line. He has a chance to be an excellent on-ball defender, too.
He is the only commitment for Illinois in the 2025 class, but he’s also only the second five-star junior committed at this point in the cycle. Before Fears’ pledge, No. 18 Aaron Rowe (Missouri) was the lone five-star commitment.