Athlete Kaden Feagin is a 4-star prospect from Arthur, Illinois and is the first commitment for the 2023 recruiting class. True to his word, Coach Bret Bielema continues to focus on the home state heavily and has landed his first 4-star prospect from Illinois. According to his prospect profile, Feagin’s main recruiter was running backs coach Cory Patterson.
Coming in at 6-foot-2 and weighing 240 pounds, Feagin is listed as an athlete but will likely play running back at Illinois. He is most comparable to sophomore Joshua McCray and freshman Jordan Anderson. Coach Bielema prefers most of the carries to go to big, physical backs who can wear down defenses and Feagin — along with McCray and Anderson — fit that template perfectly.
Feagin’s size and physicality jump off the film. He’s patient when picking his spots and demonstrates a fluid stride with deceptive speed once he hits his top gear. Feagin is tough to tackle and is willing to run through defenders to get short yardage. Another trait Feagin exhibits is the ability to angle his body where he’s able to absorb contact, stay on his feet, and continue running. Once Feagin hits the open field, few players at the high school level have the ability to catch up with, and subsequently bring him down.
Feagin currently sports 13 offers — including Illinois’ — and they range from the midwest to the east coast. Other Big Ten offers include Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin. With a 5.8 rating, Anderson will head into 2023 as the third-best prospect in the state of Illinois, ninth-best athlete in the nation, and 168th prospect overall, according to Rivals.
Landing Feagin is a major coup for Bielema and staff. After bringing in one of Illinois’ best classes in the past decade in 2022, and adding a handful of talented players late to the 2021 class, Bielema finally has a player whose rating matches his potential. The meticulousness and hard work that the staff has poured into recruiting is starting to pay dividends. Feagin may be the first 4-star to commit to Bielema at Illinois, but he certainly won’t be the last.