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Illini land 3-star offensive lineman Josh Kreutz

Son of Bears great Olin Kreutz is set to join the Illini.

Like father like son.

The class of 2021 has added another offensive lineman to help bolster up a squad that will see four or five starters reach the NFL or graduation after this season.

Josh Kreutz, an Illinois native, committed to play football at Illinois. Kreutz is a three-star offensive lineman coming from Loyola Academy, a powerhouse football program in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Kreutz is the 15th ranked center in the recruiting class and the state of Illinois’ No. 29 ranked prospect. Perhaps this commitment can spark some in-state recruiting success for the Illini.

If the name Kreutz jumps off the page to you, that’s because Josh’s dad is Olin Kreutz — a six time pro bowler who played center for the Chicago Bears for 13 seasons. Of those 13 years, Kreutz played for head coach Lovie Smith for seven of those.

Smith’s Bears teams had an o-line that was always anchored by Kreutz, and now he'll have the chance to have an Illini o-line anchored by his son.

Kreutz chose the Illini over Memphis, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Kentucky and Wyoming — and part of that is likely the impact Smith had on his family.

“(My dad) says (Smith is) an awesome coach, awesome guy. He’s a great football coach,” Kreutz said in an interview with Illini Inquirer back in February. “I started following them this year, and it was awesome.”

It is unknown whether Kreutz’ size will have him project as a center or an exterior offensive lineman long term, but the bottom line is the class of 2021 has added a solid piece of depth to an offensive line that will desperately need some turnover after the 2020 season.

Check out more from Kreutz here: