Illinois Football: Interview with Illini target, QB Rashad Rochelle

The Illinois football team recently offered a very dangerous three-star quarterback.

2022 QB Rashad Rochelle was offered by the Illini Friday.  Illinois high school football may not have a fall football season, but the prospect has not let that stop him and his teammates from grinding and bettering themselves in the current offseason.

I asked Rochelle what he and his teammates have been doing with their downtime during the postponed season.

“Lots of weight-lifting and speed-training and we are practicing as a team. I’ve been really hitting the weights, though.”

Rochelle had previously mentioned to me in a tweet that he’s been in great communication with Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith.  I asked the Springfield quarterback what Coach Smith expects from a dual-threat talent like himself.

“Leadership, staying creative, always keep eyes downfield.  Come in strong and fast, play smart and confident…stuff like that.”

The 2022 prospect is still focused on leading his Springfield team during his junior and senior seasons.  Rochelle was, however, able to tell me what factors he takes into consideration when thinking about where he wants to go to school.

“Coaching staff. Hopefully, the coach is not going to move on after I commit.  Also, if I have an opportunity to play early, if they have good academic programs, and if I will fit in at the school.”

Shortly after his offer, Rochelle did an interview with WCIA where he mentioned he was at the gym when he found out about the offer.  I asked the dual-threat quarterback what emotions he experienced when finding out the big news.

“Very, very excited.  A lot of guys from Springfield, Illinois have had pretty good success at Illinois.  I was really excited about this offer.  It’s a big deal to me and my family and friends.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

In my recent piece about Rochelle’s offer, I mentioned that I noticed, when watching his film, he can do it all.  He has proven he can beat defenses with his arms, legs, and speed.  I asked him what he thought was the most dangerous part of his game.

“I’m a pretty good pocket passer as well, so teams can’t really game plan on me too much, because I’m pretty unpredictable.”

Rochelle additionally told me what parts of his game he hopes to improve upon as he continues to grow as a player.

“Probably sliding or running out of bounds.  I know once I get to college I’ll probably work on throwing the ball away, sliding or running out of bounds to save my body a bit.”

In my final question for the Springfield quarterback, I asked him “No matter what school you eventually decide to go to, what do you want the fanbase to know about you as a player and as a person?  What are you going to bring to the table?”.

“120-percent effort, leadership, team-first mind-set, and a winning attitude.”

Next: My dream class of 2021 for the Illini

Rochelle has the mindset, skillset, and leadership qualities of a successful quarterback.  The Illini would be getting a special player with a commitment.