Illinois Football: Illini sign highest ranked offensive lineman in over a decade

Nebraska v Illinois
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One of the best players in the class of 2024 has officially signed on with the Illinois football program.

Recruiting hasn’t been great over the past decade or so. The last time the Illini had a great recruiter in the building was the Ron Zook era when we were pulling in numerous four-stars and even a couple of five-star athletes.

But those times are in the rearview mirror. Illinois went through some rough recruiting times in the middle of the 2010s and the 2020s didn’t start so hot either. But Bret Bielema seems to have the Illini on the right track when it comes to recruiting.

In Bielema’s first recruiting class, Illinois landed a top-50 group. In 2023, we improved with a top-40 group. And now, National Signing Day is upon us, and Illinois is looking to secure another top-50 class, at worst. We are on pace to accomplish that goal, as one of the first players to sign on Wednesday was offensive lineman, Andrew Dennis.

Andrew Dennis is one of the top National Signing Day signees over the past decade for the Illinois football team

Dennis put pen to paper to officially come to Champaign. He is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive lineman from Mt. Pleasant High School in Michigan. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 168 player in the class of 2024. Dennis is also the No. 7 interior offensive lineman in the country and the No. 3 player coming out of Michigan.

Illinois fans should get excited for Dennis. We had a terrible offensive line this past season, and Bielema went out and got us one of the best blockers in the country. He is also one of the highest-rated recruits Illinois has secured in the past decade.

At No. 168 in the class of 2024, Dennis is the second-highest-ranked recruit Illinois has secured in the past 10 recruiting classes. The only other player to rank higher than Dennis was Marques Beason back in 2019. He was the No. 132 player in the class of 2019.

If you look at 247Sports, their rankings go through 2011. Dennis is the highest-ranked offensive lineman Illinois has secured in the 247Sports era. Welcome to the program!

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