Illinois football is playing with some of the big boys of the college football world, as we just made the top six for one of the best players in the country.
Recruiting has been a whirlwind the past couple of days. The Illini went from having a few commitments for the class of 2024 to now having six pledges and four of the players are inside the top 1000 nationally.
The latest commitment was from defensive lineman, Eddie Tuerk. He is a three-star recruit who is one of the best players in the state of Illinois. Tuerk was a great get for Bret Bielema and the Illini coaching staff, and now another top in-state recruit has his eyes set on Champaign.
On Monday afternoon, Marquise Lightfoot took to social media to announce that he has cut his top list down to just six programs. The six teams vying for his commitment include Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, USC, Miami (FL), and Illinois.
Making the top six for Marquise Lightfoot shows that Bret Bielema has the Illinois football team playing with the big boys when it comes to recruiting
Lightfoot is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound edge from Kenwood Academy in Illinois. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 67 player in the class of 2024. He is also the No. 6 edge in the country and the No. 3 player coming out of Illinois.
So far, Lightfoot has taken three official visits. He just came off a visit to Ohio State this past weekend. He then as USC scheduled on the weekend of June 16 and Miami on the weekend of June 26.
There are still two official visit spots open, so the fact that Illinois is in the top six gives us a decent chance to snag one of them.
I am so relieved to have a coaching staff at Illinois that can both recruit for quantity and quality. Bielema has been able to bring in a haul of talent that will provide tons of depth in the future. Now he is starting to get looks more frequently from some of the top recruits.
Landing Kaden Feagin, Malik Elzy, and Saboor Karriem from the class of 2023 was big for Illinois.
They were all four-star recruits. That right there proved that what Bielema was doing was working. Now we are legit in the running for a top 100 recruit.
It is still going to be tough to land Lightfoot. Illinois is competing against the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, but I am definitely not counting us out by any means. What is going on with recruiting right now gives me vibes of what happened in the late 2000s under Ron Zook. I am extremely impressed with what this coaching staff has done.