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Illinois Football: Early Signing Period Wrap-Up

Let’s say hello to the newest Fighting Illini.

Illinois v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

It was an extremely busy Early Signing Period for the Illinois Fighting Illini. All told, 22 student-athletes (21 prep, one JUCO transfer) — including 10 in-state recruits — officially committed to the football program by signing their National Letters of Intent.

Here are the newest members of the Illini #FamILLy:

OFFENSE

Isaiah Adams (OL / 6-5 / 310 - Ajax, Ontario, Canada / Garden City CC)

Jordan Anderson (RB / 6-3 / 230 - Naperville, Ill. / Joliet Catholic Academy)

  • 306 rushing yards, 5 total TDs in 2021 IHSA Class 4A championship game

Owen Anderson (TE / 6-5 / 235 - Skillman, N.J. / The Hun School)

Hank Beatty (WR / 5-11 / 180 - Rochester, Ill. / Rochester)

  • 2021-22 Gatorade Illinois Football Player of the Year

Henry Boyer (TE / 6-7 / 250 - Chicago, Ill. / Brother Rice)

Matt Fries (OL / 6-5 / 275 - Cranford, N.J. / Cranford)

Ashton Hollins (WR / 6-5 / 170 - Lucedale, Miss. / George County)

Aidan Laughery (RB / 5-11 / 190 - Gibson City, Ill. / Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley)

Donovan Leary (QB / 6-3 / 210 - Sicklerville, N.J. / Timber Creek)

Clayton Leonard (OL / 6-4 / 275 - Danforth, Ill. / Iroquois West)

Shawn Miller (WR / 6-0 / 195 - Chandler, Ariz. / IMG Academy)

Magnus Møller (OL / 6-9 / 300 - Vejle, Denmark / Rødkilde Gymnasium)

Joey Okla (OL / 6-3 / 300 - Hartland, Wis. / Arrowhead)

  • Bret Bielema’s first 2022 commit

Eian Pugh (WR / 6-3 / 175 - Naperville, Ill. / Fenwick)

Hunter Whitenack (OL / 6-6 / 315 - New Carlisle, Ind. / New Prairie)

DEFENSE

Jared Badie (OLB / 6-4 / 220 - Aurora, Ill. / Oswego East)

T.J. Griffin (DB / 6-1 / 195 - Hickory Hills, Ill. / Amos Alonzo Stagg)

Malachi Hood (LB / 6-2 / 210 - Plainfield, Ill. / Joliet Catholic)

  • Cousin of former Illinois linebacker Marcus Hood (1997-2000)

Gabriel Jacas (OLB / 6-4 / 245 - Port St. Lucie, Fla. / Fort Pierce Central)

James Kreutz (LB / 6-1 / 205 - Lake Forest, Ill. / Loyola Academy)

  • Brother of current Illinois OL Josh Kreutz, son of former Chicago Bears center Olin Kreutz

Elijah Mc-Cantos (DB / 6-0 / 185 - Miami, Fla. / Edison)

Tyson Rooks (DB / 6-5 / 180 - St. Simons Island, Ga. / Glynn Academy)

  • Cousin of former Chicago Bears tight end Desmond Clark and current Detroit Lions safety Tracey Walker III

The Fighting Illini have the 44th-ranked recruiting class nationally and 11th-best in the Big Ten. It’s impossible to know how much of an immediate — or long term — impact these players will make, but it’s wonderful to see so many players excited to come to Champaign. Let’s be optimistic, shall we? Bret Bielema and his staff will now turn their attention towards the “regular” signing period, which kicks off February 2nd. Check out more on the 2022 signees HERE.