Illinois football is a serious contender for one of the best running backs in the class of 2024.
The Illini have started the 2024 class off on a strong note. We have three commitments and two of them are ranked inside the top 900 in the country. The third commitment is a solid offensive lineman who is flying under the radar.
Bret Bielema and the Illinois coaching staff are doing a great job building out recruiting classes. The class of 2024 isn’t going to be any different. This class has the potential to be one of the best we have seen in a long time.
An addition like Ca’lil Valentine would help make this recruiting class for the Illini even more special. On Friday, Valentine took to social media to announce that he has cut his list down to just eight teams. The eight programs vying for his commitment include Michigan State, Auburn, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Penn State, Miami, and Illinois.
Ca’lil Valentine keeping Illinois football in his top eight means there is a strong connection
Making Valentine’s top eight is a pretty big deal for the Illini. He is a 6-foot, 180-pound running back from Chandler High School in Arizona. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 359 player in the class of 2024. He is also the No. 32 running back in the country and the No. 8 player coming out of Arizona.
I believe there is only one official visit set up right now, and that is for the weekend of June 16 to Utah. 247Sports also has Utah, Miami, and Oregon as “Warm” for his commitment.
The decision for Valentine is going to be coming relatively soon as well. He has decided to make a commitment on July 8. That doesn’t give him much time to schedule the final four official visits.
Normally, in a situation like this, I would say Illinois doesn’t have a real chance to land Valentine. He is from the west coast and most of the teams on his list are from the west coast.
I would usually say Oregon or Utah is the favorite to win this recruitment, but I don’t think that should be the case here. Despite numerous teams offering Valentine a scholarship, Illinois was able to make his top eight.
The Illini just offered Valentine a scholarship on May 17, which was less than two weeks ago. We made a big enough impact on him to make his top eight despite just showing interest in him. That is a lot of ground made up in a short amount of time.
Look for Illinois to be a serious contender in the Valentine recruitment. Bielema has proven that running backs can succeed in his system. Chase Brown was just the latest example. Let’s see how much weight that holds in the recruiting battles.