Hampered by the lack of tight end usage in past regimes, the Illinois football program looks to change the trend and become tight end strong moving forward.
With Daniel Barker and Luke Ford already on the roster, the Illini have a bright future at the tight end position. Football is strength in numbers, though. That is why Illinois continues to pursue talented tight ends like Brody Foley.
Offered by Illinois a week ago tomorrow, Foley has received multiple scholarship offers since that time. The Writing Illini had a chance to chat with the three-star tight end last week. He shared some of what is going on with his recruitment and his thoughts on the Illinois offer.
“A great program, definitely on the rise with Bielema at the helm.”
If you haven’t had a chance to check out what Foley has to offer a program on the field, go take a peek at his Hudl film. The kid isn’t just a talented tight end. He can play various positions on the field.
Despite being a Swiss Army Knife at the high school level, the Illinois coaching staff is eyeing Foley at a certain position.
“I’m being recruited by Illinois as a tight end. I think, right now, I’m a better tight end than a defensive player. So, probably tight end as of now.”
As a pass-catching beast with Anderson High School over in Ohio, Foley helped lead his team to the Elite 8 of the state championship this past season. You have to have an extremely talented team to make it that far by season’s end, especially in the state of Ohio.
Some of the best qualities in Foley’s game was one of the reasons why Anderson made it so far in 2020. His ability to play both sides of the ball is what he feels helps his team the most, though.
“I think it’s huge that I can go both ways. I started playing linebacker after a few injuries, and I think I helped the defense a lot next to a beast of a middle linebacker, Casey O’toole. Offensively, I’m a great blocker whether that’s run or pass blocking. I can split out and play wide receiver and create mismatches. Also, I’m a great stock blocker for when we run screens.”
Getting out on blocks and being active in this area is not going to get you on the stat sheet, but it is the dirty work that helps a team get far in the postseason. Foley is willing to do the dirty work.
While blocking has been huge in Foley’s game throughout his high school career, he does have a couple of areas he wants to improve heading into his final season with Anderson.
“I want to get faster and stronger. I need to work on running my feet when blocking.”
There is still plenty of time for Foley to work on the things necessary for him to continue getting recruiting attention. The list of programs that have already offered him a scholarship is quite impressive.
There are a handful of programs that are showing the talented tight end the most love, though.
“Nebraska, Rutgers, Indiana and Pitt. And now Illinois.”
Foley did share with the Writing Illini that he has had a virtual visit with all of the programs mentioned above besides for Pittsburgh. While there is so much recruiting attention right now, more is sure to come. With that being said, a decision is a little bit in the distance.
“Probably by late summer.”
Foley still has an entire offseason and a senior year yet to play. But keep an eye on this kid to see him climb the recruiting rankings. It wouldn’t shock me to see him as one of the most coveted tight ends in the Midwest.