The Illinois football program is targeting one of the best quarterbacks in the class of 2024.
In Bret Bielema’s first recruiting class, the Illini were able to land quarterback Donovan Leary. I believe Leary is going to be the future of the program but having depth is crucial. Many past program failures were due to a lack of depth at quarterback.
Bielema was then able to land another quarterback in the class of 2023 with Cal Swanson committing. He is a strong-arm kid from Oklahoma and will hopefully give Leary some serious competition. Illinois is now looking at the class of 2024 for another talented passer. Just a week ago, on June 22, the Illini came in with an offer to Walker White.
White is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback from Little Rock Christian Academy and resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 167 player in the class of 2024. He is also the No. 12 quarterback in the nation and the best player coming out of Arkansas.
Illinois joined roughly 13 other programs that had already come in with an offer to White. He is, obviously, one of the most wanted recruits in the country. Some of the bigger programs to offer White include LSU, Syracuse, and Ole Miss, so this won’t be an easy recruitment to get into for the Orange and Blue.
Walker White would be one of the best quarterback recruits in Illinois football history.
I believe the success, or lack thereof, of the Illinois football program can parallel the talent we have had at the quarterback position. The last great quarterback recruit the Illini was able to land was back in 2006 with Juice Williams. He was a four-star who was ranked as the No. 69 player in the class of 2006. Illinois would make the Rose Bowl with Juice behind center.
White could come to Champaign and compete for the starting job from day one. Illinois doesn’t have anything set in stone at the position as of right now, and with his talent, there is no question that White could start as a freshman.
Over the next few years, the quarterback situation seems solid. Tommy DeVito is starting the 2022 campaign. Artur Sitkowski will probably start the 2023 season. I believe then, in 2024, the starting job is going to be a toss-up between Samari Collier and Leary, both of whom are unproven right now.
With the quarterback situation still up in the air, and Illinois having a ton of weapons on offense, I think this would be a great opportunity for someone like White to join the team. He could seriously have four years starting for a DI program in the Big Ten. Moreover, he could be one of the best quarterbacks in program history. Come to Champaign and be a legend.