Church, who is from Brother Rice in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., originally committed to Northern Illinois in August and switched schools over the weekend. He had also been recruited by new Illinois coach Tim Beckman while he was the coach at Toledo.
“When I committed to Northern Illinois, I fell in love with it,” Church said on Monday. “Then, I started thinking I could play at a bigger stage. I always knew I could. I’ll get that opportunity now, and it’s on me.
“Pretty much everything from the players to the coaches to the campus is why I chose Illinois. It’s a good academic school, too. Everything really played a part.”
Church, who is 5-8 and 183 pounds, rushed for 1,918 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. He ran for 244 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s state championship win.
Illinois has 16 Class of 2012 commitments.