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Illinois lands commitment from in-state punter

Declan Duley will look to be a mainstay in Illinois’ special teams’ room.


Bret Bielema has his 15th commit in the class of 2023.

The latest of those 15 coming Wednesday morning with in-state punter Declan Duley pledging his commitment to the Illini football program.


Duley stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 200 pounds attending El Paso-Gridley for high school. Declan Duley is rated as the top-ranked punter in the nation. Despite that stat, Duley only had two Division I offers, and Illinois being the only power five program to offer the in-state talent. Duley had taken visits to Wisconsin, Baylor, Notre Dame, Miami, Oklahoma and Michigan State before eventually committing to the Illini.

Despite Duley’s lack of offers, this feels like a recruiting win for the Illini. Getting an in-state kid over other major power five programs is something Bielema takes a lot of pride in.

Just by taking a look at Duley’s Twitter profile, this kid looks like a stud. The class of 2023 looks good. Go Illini.