A great recruiting day just got even better for Fighting Illini football! During a ceremony at his high school, three-star defensive end and top target Olalere Oladipo (IL) announced a verbal commitment to Illinois over Penn State, Indiana, Michigan State, Duke, and California. According to 247Sports, Oladipo is the nation’s No. 778 overall player, and No. 13 in-state prospect.
Oladipo is a fantastic addition for several reasons, but primarily because Illinois’ defensive line is a huge area of need for this recruiting cycle. The Illini are expected to lose a lot of talent to graduation, meaning there’s a very real chance that Oladipo could step in and play as a true-freshman. Moreover, it’s refreshing to see that Illinois is once again managing to land some of the state’s top talent. The program is mere months removed from signing a putrid three in-state prospects to their 2016 class (zero players in the Top 30), though that number has already increased to six under Lovie Smith.
If you’re able to spare a few minutes, I’d definitely recommend watching Oladipo’s HUDL tape (embedded below). The Huntley product fits exactly what Lovie Smith wants out of his linemen.
[Oladipo] is a very aggressive and nasty player on the gridiron; he's a big hitter that seems to relish contact, and he goes 100% until the whistle is blown. Oladipo has so far shown equal ability against the pass and run, although he'll need to work on his hand placement and technique to shed blockers more efficiently.
Overall, the 6-foot-3 lineman has excellent speed, quickness, burst, strength, and power. Oladipo seems to play with a joy and energy that should be contagious with teammates on the field. He has a high ceiling, making him an ideal candidate to kick off what needs to be a strong DL group.
The Orange and Blue also landed a commitment from four-star wideout Carmoni Green (FL) on Thursday afternoon. Combined, the two players have vaulted Illinois’ 2017 recruiting class up to No. 56 in the nation (+15) over the span of a few short hours. The current 11-man group is a great foundation, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it improve even more with a strong season.
Olalere Oladipo Highlights