Mario Cristobal schooled Illinois head coach Bret Bielema, responding to a tweet on Sunday from the Canes Collective, the official Miami NIL, saying "Yes please send me a brochure would love to see how this works." Lightfoot and defensive tackle Justin Scott are each five-star 2024 Miami signees from Chicago.
Miami Director of Player Personnel (Defense) Steve Schrum posted a screen capture from 247 Sports showing that Scott and Lightfoot are the top two players in Illinois with the caption Chicago->Miami. Cristobal reposted Schrum's tweet with his own caption, "My kind of brochure."
The shot by Bielema was incredibly misleading. Illinois received an official visit from Lightfoot but was not in the running to sign him. Ohio State was projected as the runner-up to Miami for Lightfoot by On3.
Miami signed the fourth-ranked class in the 2024 247Sports composite rankings. Illinois signed the 51st-ranked class in the 247Sports composite rankings. Lightfoot is the 34th-ranked player, sixth edge rusher and second prospect in Illinois in the 2024 class. Scott is the top-ranked 2024 ranked prospect from Illinois.
The top-ranked 2024 Illinois freshman signee is interior offensive lineman Andrew Dennis, the 162nd-ranked prospect in the class. Miami signed five players in its 2024 class ranked ahead of Dennis. Bielema is likely upset that Miami was able to come into his home state and poach the two best players in the class.
Cristobal and defensive line coach Jason Taylor are setting a foundation in Illinois for the future. Miami has history of recruiting well in Illinois. Former first overall draft pick defensive tackle Russell Maryland played for Miami out of Chicago during the 1980s.
Miami has signed a top 10 class in each of the last two years. Illinois signed the 38th-ranked 2024 class, including transfers and junior college players. Cristobal has served notice that Miami will compete nationally for the best players. The 2024 Miami class includes players from 10 states.