Illinois Football: Andrew Depaepe is the latest Illini target for 2023

Illinois football seems to be trying to open a new pipeline when it comes to recruiting.

The Illini basketball team has been able to open new avenues for their recruiting. They are tackling Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio successfully. Now it is time for the football team to step up their game another notch. Bret Bielema and the Illinois coaching staff are now pursuing Iowa product, Andrew Depaepe.

Depaepe is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive lineman from Pleasant Valley High School and resides in Bettendorf, Iowa. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 130 player in the class of 2023. He is also the No. 25 defensive lineman in the nation and the No. 2 player coming out of Iowa.

On Wednesday, Depaepe announced on Twitter that he had received a scholarship from the Illini after talking with outside linebackers coach, Kevin Kane. This is great news, but Illinois is by no means the only team to offer the talented defensive specialist. Depaepe has roughly 11 scholarship offers right now, and that number is sure to grow over the next year or so.

Illinois football is trying to build on their 2022 recruiting success in 2023.

With the way things are trending, the Illini are going to have a lot to live up to in 2023. Bielema’s first class is 2022, and it is shaping up to be one of the best we have seen in years.

Currently, the Illini have the No. 36 ranked class for 2022. That would be the best finish by an Illinois recruiting class since the middle of the Ron Zook era. That is over a decade ago. But that is what Bielema was preaching. He wanted to recruit well and has so far.

A great class of 2022 means Bielema is going to need to knock it out of the park in 2023. He doesn’t have a single player signed up just yet, but there are many irons on the fire. Depaepe is one of the latest. Bielema is casting a wide net, and it includes some big fish.

Depaepe is a player who could help the Illinois football program greatly. I love this offer by the Illini coaching staff. Let’s see how the relationship builds over the next couple of years.