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Former Michigan State FB Max Rosenthal commits to Illinois

Bret Bielema secures another transfer.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Bret Bielema has been a busy, busy guy. Putting together a coaching staff in a few weeks time is chaotic enough. Recruiting players at the same time is equally challenging.

Bielema has wasted little time trying to put his stamp on the Illinois football program, adding former Michigan State fullback/tight end Max Rosenthal on Tuesday.

Rosenthal, a Winnetka native who attended New Trier H.S., initially walked on with the Spartans, playing a total of 20 games in four seasons. Rosenthal missed the 2020 season recovering from a knee injury and will have two years of eligiblity remaining.

He told 247Sports “I grew up on Illinois football. My dad’s an Illinois alum, my grandpa went there. I grew up watching games with Juice Williams and Rashard Mendenhall, so Illinois was always like my favorite team growing up ... to actually have it become a reality is absolutely amazing.”

The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder could quickly find a role as a lead blocker in Bret Bielema’s pro-style offense.

Rosenthal is now the third transfer to join the Illini this offseason. Former NC State linebacker Calvin “CJ” Hart and former East Carolina & Arkansas tailback Chase Hayden committed to Illinois earlier this month.