Center TJ McMillen is a 3-star prospect from Wheaton, Illinois, and he became the third pledge to Illinois’s 2023 class when he announced his commitment on Saturday.
According to his prospect profile he was recruited by offensive line coach Bart Miller and outside linebackers coach Kevin Kane. So far all of the verbal commitments in the 2023 class are from the state of Illinois.
This staff continues to follow through on their word and heavily recruit the state of Illinois. Not only has this approach landed some talented commitments, but it’s restored trust between the high school coaches and the Illini football program. These relationships should position this staff to be in on the best prospects the state has to offer in the upcoming years.
McMillen currently stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 270 pounds. He is being recruited as a center, but has played every position along the offensive line in high school. Not only is McMillen a prolific offensive lineman at the high school level, but he’s also a disrupter as a defensive tackle. Like all the offensive linemen coach Bielema targets, McMillen is aggressive, versatile and runs extremely well. Having an agile center that can pull and get to the second level will allow offensive coordinator Barry Lunney the ability to call a variety of plays while not being hindered by blocking schemes.
Offers for McMillen came in from all over the nation, tallying a total of 34, according to Rivals. Other Big Ten schools to offer were Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue. McMillen kicks off the 2022 year rated as a 5.6, 3-star recruit, and ranked 14th-overall in the state of Illinois.
McMillen played multiple sports in high school and falls in line as a skilled athlete playing football. Although he’ll most likely redshirt his freshman year, he’ll still have the opportunity to land on the 2-deep depth chart and push for playing time. Most Power 5 offensive linemen aren’t ready to play as freshmen, but center will be a position of need in 2023. Regardless of playing time, McMillen is talented and will be an excellent addition to the offensive line in the coming years.
TJ McMillen Hudl highlights linked below.