Ladue Horton Watkins defensive end Moses Okpala signed with Illinois during the Early Signing Period on Wednesday.
He originally committed in November on the eve of Illinois’ tilt with Minnesota.
The 6-foot-7, 250-pound defensive end from St. Louis fills a need in the class of 2019, as both sides of the line need players who can impact depth and give Illinois more versatility. According to 247, Okpala is a three-star recruit.
Okpala provides that in spades, as his frame is the kind that oozes potential at the next level. With the ability to possibly play immediately in 2019 as a freshman, Okpala chose the Illini over home state Missouri and several Big Ten competitors, including Minnesota and Nebraska.
He has a very similar build to Jihad Ward, the hybrid defensive lineman who helped fortify Illinois’ defense during the Beckman/Cubit era and ended up as a second round pick of the Oakland Raiders.
Okpala will be a four-year player, however, and might have an even higher ceiling than Ward. That kind of talent and size doesn’t come around very often.
Whether he redshirts or plays the moment he steps on to campus (a more than likely scenario given the current state of affairs at defensive end), he will bring a lot to the table for Illinois moving forward.
Check out Okpala’s most recent highlight video below.
It was announced on Dec. 9 that Okpala would sign during the Early Signing Period.
Thank you Coaches & U of Illinois for having Moses for his official visit. December 19th it will be official!@wardth09— Kim Bussard (@KimBussard3) December 10, 2018
@IlliniR_Wright @NateMcNeal32 @travisperry12 @FBCoach_Collins @UICoachClark @CoachEmbleton @IlliniCPatt pic.twitter.com/g5fVDpNusA
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