Bret Bielema stresses importance of landing in-state recruits during Illinois introductory presser
Bret Bielema doesn’t want to see in-state recruits leave Illinois anymore. The new head coach of the Illini wants his staff to to put a priority on recruiting those players and building a program based on in-state talent.
Monday, Bielema was introduced officially as the new head coach at Illinois. While the conversation obviously covered plenty of ground, Bielema’s points on making in-state recruiting a focus was one of the major takeaways from the first presser.
One of the biggest gripes about the Lovie Smith era in Champaign was his inability to bring in-state prospects to Illinois. Bielema is hoping to fix that.
#illini Bret Bielema quips: "I talked to the Illinois Highway Department. [Recruits] will not be able to leave the state anymore."
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) December 21, 2020
Bielema says he doesn't care about the size of the school, public or private, he wants his staff to reach out to players who want to play for and contribute to the University of Illinois
— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) December 21, 2020
Illinois football HC Bret Bielema continuously talks about prioritizing instate recruiting and says he likes how he knows the geography of Illinois since he grew up in state. #Illini
— Alessandra Pontbriand (@APontbriandTV) December 21, 2020
Bielema said that, whether it’s a large school or a small school, public or private, he wants all of his assistant coaches on the phone with potential players who can help Illinois on the football field. He also says that his familiarity with the state should help on the recruiting front.
Already, Bielema has been on the phone with high school football coaches in the state, which is another positive for the Illini program.