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Can Illinois Football land this Top-100 Prospect?



Can Illinois Football land this Top-100 Prospect?
Twitter: @MarquiseL01

Can Illinois Football land this Top-100 Prospect?

Illinois Football had an eventful start to this summer. After the first weekend in June, Bret Bielema and his staff welcomed 6 new commits to the class of 2024. Prior to that, they put the finishing touches on their class of 2023 with some talented transfer portal and JUCO products. However, the biggest fish that they are currently after remains on the board. Earlier today, 247’s Jeremy Werner reported that EDGE rusher, Marquise Lightfoot will be taking his official visit to Champaign this Thursday.

Lightfoot is a top 70 prospect from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy. His other official visits include Ohio State, USC and Miami.

Battling amongst the Elite.

Lightfoot recently released a top 6: Illinois, Ohio State, Miami, USC, Alabama and Georgia. Yup. Illinois is certainly the underdog in this recruitment, and getting a superstar like Lightfoot is certainly an achievement. Lightfoot can very well play anywhere in the country, however he has been receptive to Illinois and their hometown sell. Though the sell is certainly different, first year coach, Charlie Bullen seems to have made an impact. Bullen arrives to Champaign after years in the NFL coaching some of the best pass rushers in the league.

The Illini certainly do not have the prestige and sparkle that the other programs have. However, they make up for it by selling proven player development. Bullen has been around the best, and players like Seth Coleman and Gabe Jacas are a true testament to the development at Illinois. Lightfoot would almost certainly be in line to play right away, given that Coleman will likely take the jump to the next level after this season.

Building relationships.

Lightfoot would be joining Malik Elzy as a Chicago superstar that passed on big time offers to join Illinois. Though this is clearly a longshot given the other offers, Illinois can build a relationship with Lightfoot. Players enter the transfer portal for a variety of reasons. Though Lightfoot will likely star wherever he chooses, one can never know how events play in the future. Having him on campus and knowing his family can never hurt.

Lightfoot would be the highest ranked prospect at Illinois since Terry Hawthorne and a true grand slam. Let’s see this school aim for the top.


Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is a Resident Physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Northwestern Medicine and has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS sports and more.