Illini Welcomes Large Group of Official Returning Visitors to Campus

There is a lot of news every day. Illini Inquirer will try to aid digestion every weekday morning with the Daily Digest. Today, get acquainted with the first official weekend of visitors to Illinois football under the guidance of Bret Bielema, two new guests in the 2021 class, two big visitors in the 2022 basketball class and a former Illini having an impact on the future of college sport.


For the first time in 16 months, Illinois football will welcome official visitors to the University of Illinois campus. The Illini are expected to welcome 16 candidates from the 2022 class (full list here) for their first official college visits after a 15-month dead period due to the pandemic.

  • The eight Illinois class commitments of 2022 will be present. All of them have been to the Illinois campus, but only for self-guided tours. They will all be able to meet the Illinois coaching staff for the first time when they arrive on campus Friday night for the start of the 48-hour official tours.
    • Refreshment: Official visits are paid for by football programs (travel, accommodation and catering for prospects and families). During unofficial visits, recruits must pay these expenses. Recruits are allowed up to five official visits, only one per school.
  • The Illini should also welcome eight official visitors not engaged.
    • Four are prospects in the state and the main priorities of Illini
      • RB Aidan laugh, Gibson City: Prospect # 16 in the state also has official visits scheduled to Iowa and Washington state.
      • EDGE Jared badie, Oswego East: State Prospect # 13 also has official visits scheduled to Michigan State, Texas Tech and Minnesota.
      • WR Eian Pugh, Fenwick: Prospect # 12 in the state has committed to Cincinnati and also has official visits scheduled to Cincinnati and Iowa.
      • KG Hood Malachi, Catholic Joliet: Hood received an offer from Illinois on Tuesday after a visit to campus and a practice session in front of the staff, and he was recently given a 247Sports rating, which ranks him as a three-star prospect, the senior No. 25 of the state.
    • The four foreign visitors all of them have multiple power-five offers.
      • RB Dallan hayden, Christian Brothers: Prospect Top247 is the brother of current running back Illini Chase hayden and has official visits scheduled to the State of Ohio and Notre Dame.
      • WR Shawn miller, IMG Academy: The Arizona native and top 500 prospect also has official visits scheduled to West Virginia, Indiana and the state of Michigan.
      • OL Patrick kutas, Christian Brothers: A high school teammate from Dallan hayden, Kutas has also scheduled official visits to Arkansas, Louisville and Oregon.
      • Comics Kody jones, Germantown: The four-star athlete is engaged in Michigan and is also garnering a lot of interest from the state of Tennessee.
  • VIP: Illini Inquirer Trusted Counters on All Scheduled Official Visitors

At the end of the line : The Illini’s class of eight engagements is currently ranked at the top of the Big Ten West in the Team Recruiting Rankings, but is mostly supported by quantity, as Illinois has the lowest average star rating of the conference. Bret Bielema and his staff have made waves in recruiting despite being limited to Zoom calls. Finally, with the chance to meet prospects and their families face to face, the Illini have the chance to make waves this month with highly touted prospects coming to campus.

  • Bielema said last month: “I think we were the first school, I think, in Division I football to send out invitations. We did this to get ahead, ”Bielema told Illini Inquirer. “In theory, we have a big weekend planned for the first weekend in June. I’m just excited to have guys on campus, to get around them, to be around them. You can learn a lot about them from Zoom, but there is nothing that can put a price on being able to sit in front of someone, to show them the Smith Center, meet our coaches. … You know, there are a million beautiful places. I always come back to, ‘This is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see everyone.’ You got to understand that there’s a million churches, a million steeples, but it’s the people inside that make the church, and that’s what we do here with our family. We strongly believe in the family. It is not about the building. It’s beautiful, I love it here. But it’s the people in the building that make it special, and that’s what we want to showcase.


Jordan knowles

Illinois added two favorite wide receptors Thursday, both from the 2021 class natives of the state who trained for the team this week: Miles Scott and Jordan knowles.

  • Miles Scott is from Dolton, Illinois who played at St. Laurence before transferring to St. Thomas More, Connecticut for a year of graduate school. The 6 foot wide had Division I offerings from Columbia, Cornell and Georgetown. Scott will register in Illinois next week and join summer practice.
    • Scott told Allen Trieu of 247Sports: “The coaches told me they liked what they saw. I’m just ready to play. I was just happy to have this opportunity. It’s a whole new program. I’m just trying to be part of building a winning culture and doing whatever it takes to win. They give me a chance to compete for a place. It means everything to me. God has truly blessed me, all the praises and thanks go to Him because without Him I am nothing. This is just the start, I am ready to jump in and become a contributing factor to the future success of this program on and off the pitch.
  • Jordan knowles played at Plainfield East last season, with 28 receptions for 760 yards (which led the state) and 12 touchdowns. The 6 foot wide had a Division I tender from Bucknell. He joins the Plainfield East classmate Zechariah Barlev, a stock player, in the Illini class of 2021.
    • Knowles told Illini Inquirer: “The tour was amazing, the coaching staff were super friendly and welcoming. Very personalized, everyone greeted me by name and made me feel like they really cared and wanted me. I had visited the campus before but more from an academic point of view and I fell in love with the school.I always dreamed of playing football there too, never thought I would have the chance , but I kept working hard. Seeing the new facilities was breathtaking. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I won this opportunity, it truly is a dream come true. Countless hours of hard work over the years has really paid off. The coaching staff, Coach B in particular, emphasized the importance and value of extras. They really like my versatility and really think I can be a big factor on all sides of the ball. “

Illinois now publicly has five walk-in engagements in the 2021 class

Miles Scott


AJ Storr

AJ Storr may have disengaged from Illinois last month, but the Illinis did not abandon the Class of 2022 wing, which is increasing inventory. The Rockford, Illinois native and former Kankakee, Illinois player visited Champaign with his mother on Thursday, less than four weeks after his disengagement.

  • Staff changes on the Illini were part of the impetus behind Storr’s change of mind. Chin coleman was Illini’s primary recruiter for Storr before Coleman and Orlando Antigua left for assistant positions in Kentucky. New assistant to Illini and former player to Illini Chester frazier now leads the Illini’s pursuit of Storr. Frazier proposed and recruited Storr at Virginia Tech.
    • Since the disengagement of Illinois, Storr has received scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Iowa, Arizona State, and Kansas.
  • Storr’s mother, Annette Brandy tweeted: “We had a great visit today, thank you Brad for all of your time. Thank you coach Frazier for your energy and my coach Alexander for your calm. We are delighted to be on campus for an official visit. Very productive day !! ”

Illinois has a commitment in Class of 2022: Three-Star Tennessee Goalkeeper Bass Reggie.


(Photo: Dushawn London, 247Sports)

Illinois also hosted the Class of 2022 Top 100 Great Men. Shawn phillips for an informal visit on Thursday. Global Perspective # 83 in the Class of 2022 and Center # 12, Phillips has scholarship offerings from Indiana, North Carolina State, Ohio State, of Cincinnati, Dayton and Maryland.

  • Piper writes: Phillips brings a legitimate height to the five-seater at 6-10, 250 pounds with long arms and the ability to move people around the block. He’s a rocking finisher when he brings him closer. It also has the footwork and soft feel to score back to the basket. Phillips can chase him down the glass as well and he challenges the shots to the edge with consistency.


In his first season as an NBA assistantBrian Randle helped the Phoenix Suns take out LeBron James and defending NBA Playoff champ Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-100 victory Thursday in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round Series.


(Photo: Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register, USA TODAY Sports)

Kam Buckner was once against paying college student-athletes even if he was. Then he went to the Marketplace Mall in Champaign with his Illinois football teammate. Pierre Thomas. A decade and a half later, Buckner – a representative from the State of Illinois – co-sponsored legislation that was passed by the Illinois State Legislature (with bipartisan support!) that will allow Illinois state student-athletes to benefit from their name, image, and image their resemblance. Read Joey Wagner’s story.

  • “I think it’s essentially about fairness, parity, fairness, giving our young student-athletes a chance, an opportunity to compensate for their image even as anyone else in our society. free can do it, “said Buckner, a 2008 UI graduate.



Have a great weekend and enjoy the unofficial first weekend of summer!

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