Illinois lands in-state OL, becomes third verbal commit in three days
It’s been a busy weekend for Bret Bielema and the Illinois staff. Not only are they preparing for Monday night’s spring game, the Fighting Illini have received a flurry of commitments this weekend.
Sunday, Illinois received a verbal pledge from 3-star offensive lineman Clayton Leonard, a native of Gilman, Illinois. He’s the fifth player of the 2022 class to commit to the program and third to do so in the last three days.
“After talking with my family and coaches I’ve decided to further my academic and athletic career at in-state University of Illinois,” Leonard wrote on Twitter.
After talking with my family and coaches I’ve decided to further my academic and athletic career at in-state University of Illinois. #famILLy22 @BretBielema @Coach_BMiller @IlliniFootball @IWHSFootball pic.twitter.com/0igNlEN358
— Clayton Leonard (@ClaytonLeonar16) April 18, 2021
Illinois also picked up verbal pledges from offensive tackle Hunter Whitenack and wide receiver Hank Beatty on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Fighting Illini’s class ranks No. 12 in the B1G and No. 64 nationally.
Leonard is the second in-state commitment for Bielema’s 2022 class, with Beatty being the first.
Per 247Sports, Leonard ranks as the No. 28 overall prospect out of Illinois, regardless of position. He’s also listed as the No. 80 offensive guard in the class. There are no composite rankings for the 3-star lineman at this time.
So far, three other programs extended an offer to Leonard. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound lineman received interest from Illinois State at the FCS level and Central Michigan and Toledo out of the MAC.