The Illinois Fighting Illini have continued their in-state recruiting resurgence. On Sunday, the Illini landed a commitment from Matthew Bailey, a safety/wide receiver from Moline HS.
I am thankful and extremely excited to announce my commitment to the University of Illinois. Sending a huge thank you to everyone who supported me on this journey. #famILLy @BretBielema @CoachMorrissey7 @coachPatRyan @Coach_Walters pic.twitter.com/Kdb880ex5W— Matthew Bailey (@MatthewBailey_7) January 23, 2022
One of the top players in the Quad Cities, Bailey racked up 802 receiving yards and 10 TDs this past season for the Maroons, helping Moline to 9-2 record and a berth in the IHSA playoffs. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder was voted to the 7A All-State Team by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) and was named Illinois All-Metro Player of the Year by the Quad City Times.
Bailey chose the Fighting Illini over several FCS offers, including Western Illinois & Eastern Illinois.
It may take a while before Bailey sees the field in Champaign, but he fits the blueprint of the new era of Illini football — moldable, projectable, versatile, and hard-working.
Bret Bielema continues to follow through on his promise to prioritize recruiting within the state. Bailey is Illinois’ eleventh in-state commitment for the 2022, the most in a single class since 2003. Bailey can’t officially become an Illini until the regular signing period begins Feb. 2. Check out some of Bailey’s highlights below: