Illinois Football: Illini trying to create Ohio pipeline with recent offer

Over the past week, the Illinois football team started targeting one of the best players in the class of 2025.

The Illini are currently putting the finishing touches on the 2023 class. This group is ranked in the top 50, but we are still adding a few junior college players here and there.

Bret Bielema and the Illinois coaching staff have also started the class of 2024 on the right foot. We have three commitments thus far and numerous official visits in the next month or so.

While those two recruiting classes are the main focus for the Illini right now, it isn’t a bad idea to start laying the groundwork for some of the top players in the class of 2025. Illinois did just that over the past week, as we have now extended a scholarship offer to Justin Hill.

Illinois football landing Justin Hill would start a recruiting pipeline to Ohio

Hill is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound edge rusher from Winton Woods High School in Ohio. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 136 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 16 edge rusher in the country and the No. 3 player coming out of Ohio.

The scholarship offers have already started to pile up for Hill. He has roughly 16 offers on the table right now, most of which are from power-five programs. He will continue to rack up the offers over the next year or so as well.

For the Illini, the pipeline to the state of Ohio hasn’t exactly been lucrative. Bielema was able to flip a great player in Collin Dixon in the class of 2023. He is a top 900 recruit and a wide receiver who should be able to help the program early on in his career.

Illinois also has Angelo McCullom committed for the 2024 class. He is another top 900 recruit from Ohio, and his services on the defensive line will be invaluable.

Those two are the only Ohio recruits to pledge to the Illini during the Bielema era. That is why landing someone like Hill would be big for the program. Snagging a four-star recruit out of Ohio, away from Ohio State and other traditional powers, would be a big stepping stone in creating a pipeline to this talent-rich state.

There is still a long way to go before Hill makes any decisions. Hopefully, Illinois can continue to stay in his recruitment and be there at the end for a commitment.