Illinois Football: Illini building offensive line depth with Dez’Mond Schuster

The junior college ranks have helped the Illinois football team this season, and it will continue helping the program moving forward.

Bret Bielema has always put together good offensive lines. His first recruiting class with the Illini showed that focusing on building the offensive line was important. The class of 2022 finished in the top 50 nationally and produced seven offensive linemen.

Two of the seven offensive linemen were junior college transfers. Isaiah Adams and Zy Crisler have helped Illinois get off to a hot 6-1 start this season. Getting JUCO players is important, especially to a coach who is just starting with a program. That is why Illinois fans should be excited about the addition of Dez’Mond Schuster.

On Thursday, Schuster took to Twitter to announce that he is ending his recruitment and committing to play football for Illinois. This is a big depth commitment for the Illini and one that should pay dividends early on.

Schuster is a 6-foot-5, 311-pound offensive lineman who attends Hutchinson Community College. He isn’t rated or ranked, but Illinois saw a lot of talent in this kid and is taking a flyer on him.

The framework is there for Dez’Mond Schuster to be a good offensive lineman for the Illinois football team.

At this point in the recruitment, I am honestly surprised that Schuster doesn’t have another scholarship offer. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I love Schuster’s 6-foot-5, 311-pound frame. That right there sets him up for success. Development is the next stage.

Schuster is able to get out of his stance and into the pads of the defender quickly. I think, at Illinois, the coaching staff is going to develop him into one of the best offensive linemen on the team. Schuster is going to be great pulling and opening holes for Josh McCray and Company in 2023 and beyond.

I assume Schuster will enter the Illinois program as a guard, but he has the size to play any position on the offensive line. I think his quickness makes him best suited for guard, though.

This is a really good addition for the Illini. We need to continue stockpiling offensive linemen. Getting blockers with higher than high school experience is always a plus.