AZ Compass Prep's gifted 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior guard Jeremiah Fears has made his college decision and will return home to the state of Illinois to play for the University of Illinois. A native of Joliet, Illinois, Fears will be returning home for college, after giving a nice early verbal commitment this week.
Fears had recently narrowed his final list of schools down to five college programs - Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Providence and Ole Miss, before giving a big verbal commitment to Illinois and Head Coach Brad Underwood and his coaching staff. Fears is rated among the top overall 2025 prospects in America, and is currently ranked #16 overall by ESPN nationally. Fears is Illinois' first five-star commitment since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007.
"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."
Fears came to AZ Compass Prep this off-season and has had a successful season with AZ Compass, while playing against the nation's best competition and transitioning to running the point guard position full-time for AZ Compass for much of the early season. Fears is an impressive combo-guard prospect, but I believe his true value will be realized over time at the point guard position, as a result of his craftiness and ability to make plays off the dribble for himself and his teammates.
Fears is a really nice talent from the guard position, either with the basketball in his hands or off the ball. He is a floor general with a superb feel for the game, and plays the game in a different manner than his opposition. He is a unique talent that can score almost at will, and also loves to make plays for his teammates - creating scoring opportunities off the dribble in a crafty manner. With the ball in his hands, Fears is a very shifty guard prospect that gets defenders off balance with his hesitation dribble, and excellent body control in the lane. He is a strong finisher in the lane and over bigger defenders. He has a very good shooting stroke with range, which sets up his floaters and drives in the lane. He can score and pass effectively with either hand and plays fast and with constant aggression. An excellent defender on the ball also with very quick hands and feet, that plays passing lanes and disrupts opposing offensive sets with his defensive energy and tenacity.
Fears was among the top overall 2025 Class performers on the NIKE EYBL circuit last spring and summer, while competing for Brad Beal Elite (MO), a Nike sponsored program, organized by NBA guard Bradley Beal (Phoenix Suns). Like Bradley Beal, who recently joined the Phoenix Suns and moved to Arizona, Fears followed suit - joining the AZ Compass Prep basketball program in Chandler, Arizona.
Fears will continue to look to help lead AZ Compass Prep for the remainder of this season, and look to help lead the program to a strong finish to the season. Fears is the younger brother of top-rated 2023 guard prospect Jeremy Fears, currently a freshman for Michigan State.
Congratulations to the AZ Compass Prep basketball program on another big Division-I commitment from their program, and congrats to Jeremiah and his family on this decision.