The top-ranked recruit in the state of Illinois in the Class of 2017, Thomas caught 52 passes for 937 yards and five touchdowns over the past two seasons for the Hurricanes. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at Illinois.
"I would like to thank The University of Miami, my teammates, coaches for their amazing support the past 2 years," Thomas wrote in a tweet. "With that being said, I would like to thank Coach Lovie smith for this opportunity to further my education and football career at the University of Illinois."
Thomas was the No. 8 ranked wide receiver coming out of high school and the No. 55 recruit overall. He plans to enroll at Illinois in the spring.
"Jeff Thomas is an elite level football player who we expect to make an immediate impact with the Fighting Illini program," Illinois coach Lovie Smith said in a statement. "We know he is excited to return to his home state. This continues a string of great players from East St. Louis coming to the University of Illinois.
"We recruited Jeff extremely hard out of high school, and when he contacted us about the possibility of returning home, we were immediately interested in making his wishes come true. We will fully support his efforts for immediate eligibility at Illinois."