4-star running back locks in a huge Illinois football official visit

Illinois football is always in the market for a dominating running back, and we may have one coming in from the class of 2025
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema celebrates
Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema celebrates / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

About six or seven years ago, the Illinois football team had a slogan that fans probably still remember today.

The Illini slogan, or saying, or whatever you want to call it was LittyvILLe. Then-running backs coach Thad Ward, the founder of LittyvILLe explained what it meant back in an article by Jeremy Werner of 247Sports. Here is a small excerpt.

"Littyville, like I always say, it's a state of mind. It's something we're having fun with. Around here, we say we like to have a lot of fun. We're going to keep it really, really fun around here. We're talking about packed stadiums, packed venues. Everybody's just 'litty', having fun, in Littyville…”

Less than a year later, Ward would leave Illinois to become Temple’s wide receivers coach in 2019. He then moved on to Kansas State in 2022 in the same role. On January 30, 2023, Ward made his triumphant return to Illinois as running backs coach. He was elevated to assistant head coach and running backs coach this year.

Ward brings more than just his coaching to the table. He is a vibe. He also has great recruiting ties to places that Illinois doesn’t do so well in. Ward is able to recruit the East Coast well, and his presence with the Illinois football program is already being felt.

On Sunday, John Forster took to social media to announce that he is going to be taking an official visit to Illinois. He will be in Champaign from June 7-9.

Forster is a 5-foot-10.5, 185-pound running back from St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 321 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 26 running back in the country and the No. 12 player coming out of New Jersey.

Ward is the main recruiter for Forster. He has been able to get the attention of the talented running back, but this recruitment is going to be tough. The visit schedule as of right now is Rutgers on May 31, Illinois on June 7, Wisconsin on June 14, and West Virginia on June 21. It looks like he has taken unofficial visits to all four programs already.

Landing John Forster would give Illinois football one of the most dangerous running back rooms the program has ever seen

Whoever lands Forster is getting a monster of a football player. Just imagine Isaiah Willams with some beef on him. That is what Forster looks like on the football field. He can play the running back position and take hits. He is strong with the ball.

I am also blown away by his ability to play in the slot. Forster burns defensive backs, and he can make little subtle moves to get around defenders. This kid has so much ability.

Forster would give Illinois an incredible dual-threat running back. We have a building running back room as well.

I think Kaden Feagin is the answer for the next few seasons. He is a monster runner who will punish defenses. Aidan Laughery is the lightning to Feagin’s thunder. I am excited to see what Ca’Lil Valentine does when he starts to get his legs underneath him.

If you look at the Illinois running back room, you have Feagin who was a four-star recruit. Valentine was a four-star recruit. Laughery was a solid top-700 player. You then could add in another four-star in Forster. That would be an incredible running back room.

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