Illinois football was about to get some big recruits in the 2023 class this off season.
The last talent Eleni was targeting was Fama Toure. He’s a talented wide receiver who is ranked in the top 1000 nationally. Illinois was one of the last teams to commit to Torey, but unfortunately, he would end up picking Rutgers. The fact that he’s from New Jersey and that his brother plays for the Scarlet Knights seemed pretty tough for the Orange and Blue to beat.
Huge losses like this occur. It’s part of the recruiting game. But that doesn’t mean Illinois will have a bad class for 2023. In fact, Brett Bilima made a great start to the 2023 group. We’re ranked #48 in the state, as of now, with 15 commitments. This number will grow in the coming months as well.
But who’s next for Illini? What big goals can Illinois land for to help boost our national rankings and make us winners on the big stage once again?
Illinois football has a huge in-state goal still remaining for the 2023 class.
I would say the biggest target still on the board is easily Gear Hill. He is 6 feet 1 and 170 pounds from Kankakee, Illinois. Hill is rated a four-star recruit and ranked as the 276th player in the 2023 class.
If Hill chooses Illinois, I would argue that would confine us to the top 50 class of 2023. Getting another pledge from the top 300 Illinois recruits would be huge, but it wouldn’t be an easy task.
Obviously, the race on Hill is between two teams. Illinois and Michigan will fight for this kid to the end. They each had an official visit with Hill, so the next step will likely come fairly soon.
247 Sports also has Wolverines as the favorite with a confidence of seven out of 10, but that prediction was back in December 2021. The competitors have now made Illinois the favourite, with the Michigan writer for the Rivals flipping his predictions from Wolverines to Illini again late June.
I think Hill’s recruitment would be the biggest test of the recruiting powers in Belima. If Illinois lands in a hill over Michigan, that makes a statement. This tells me that Illinois is beginning to make serious ground with in-state enlistment.
Another recruit I would like to monitor moving forward is Sabir Karim. Karim is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound safe out of West Orange, New Jersey. He is rated a three-star recruit and ranked as the 907th player in the 2023 class.
Although Karim is not ranked as high as Hill, he is still among the top 1,000 recruits who would make a huge impact in high school. Illinois need more bodies in their defensive backcourt, and Karim would be a huge plus.
I think Karim’s recruiting will move to Illinois and Duke. If I had to guess now, Karim is leaning toward Illinois and he’s going to end up being a part of Illini’s class of 2023. But with time, anything can happen. We need to get a commitment from him soon.
Yes, the Illinois Torey lost, but there were still some big fish in the pond. Belima has a chance to show his recruiting powers here in the coming months. Let’s finish this category strong and into the top 50 nationwide.