The Illinois football team has had a pretty good week despite not having a game on Saturday.
Coming off another road victory over a top 25 program, the Illini are seeing the winning having some positive effect on the recruiting game. Illinois’ progress in completing the class of 2022 had a lull the past few months, but this week, things started to pick up.
Illinois football added two big defensive pieces to the class of 2022.
Heading into the current week, the Illini class of 2022 had a strong emphasis on offense. The top player in the class is Shawn Miller, a wide receiver and top 500 talent.
As you continue down the list of commits, the four highest-rated recruits are also on the offensive side of the ball. Jared Badie is the first defensive player you get to at No. 5.
But the tides are turning when it comes to recruiting the defensive side of the ball. Illinois was able to secure not one but two defensive players this week.
TJ Griffin – Palos Hills, Illinois
Griffin is the most recent commitment. He decided to end his recruitment and pledge to the Illini on Wednesday.
247Sports has Griffin as a 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety from Amos Alonzo Stagg High School and residing in Palos Hills, Illinois. He is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 1675 player in the class of 2022. He is also the No. 115 safety in the nation and the No. 37 player coming out of Illinois.
Griffin played a lot of wide receiver at the high school level, so his ability to read quarterbacks should be decent. I love his size for a safety at 6-foot-2. Having a big player like that over the middle of the secondary is going to be nice. I think Griffin is going to be pretty raw to begin, but Ryan Walters is a great coach. He will be able to mold Griffin into a good defensive back.
Terrell Jones – Hoover, Alabama
Illinois added to the defensive line on Monday when Jones decided to pick the Orange and Blue. The Illini will be losing some great defensive line talent over the next couple of years, so having Jones join the program is important.
Jones is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman from Hoover High School and resides in Hoover, Alabama. He is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 178 defensive lineman in the class of 2022. He is also the No. 57 player coming out of Alabama.
I love the size and rawness of Jones’ game, much like Griffin. He has a great big body and can rush the passer. As soon as he gets more work in the gym and with the Illini coaches, this kid is going to be a monster. He reminds me a lot of the great Bobby Roundtree as far as physical gifts.
Illinois has done a great job recruiting for 2022. This is the class that will be the foundation for the Bret Bielema era. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.