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Illinois Football lands in-state EDGE Rusher!



Illinois Football lands In-state EDGE rusher
Instagram: @joe_barna34

Illinois Football lands in-state EDGE Rusher!

Illinois Football continues its hot streak! They continue to add power-five recruits in impressive fashion. This time, Wheaton North’s Joe Barna committed to Illinois over offers from Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas. Barna is an impressive recruiting win as Illinois football continues to have success in the northwest suburbs that I have not seen in my lifetime. Per 247sports, this is Charlie Bullen’s first prep prospect that he has led the charge for to commit to Illinois.

Joe Barna marks the 13th commitment in the class of 2024, and also marks the 5th in-state product. Barna joins Eddie Tuerk, Tysean Griffin, Brandon Hansen and Karsen Konkel as the other in-state products to commit to the Illini.

The Player:

Joe Barna currently measures as a 6 foot 4, 240 pound edge rusher. Barna is a three-star prospect, however he does hold multiple power-five offers. Honestly, seeing his recruiting profile and noting that he is from the Northwest suburbs makes me think of those recruits Illinois consistently lost to Iowa or Wisconsin. The fact that Charlie Bullen was able to pull this off gives a lot of reason for optimism.

Barna’s HUDL film is notable for athleticism that could really benefit Illinois’ OLB room. The Wheaton North product also played some tight end which makes me believe that he has multi-positional athleticism. That type of athleticism is significant in the OLB room; if you make note of players like Seth Coleman, Gabe Jacas, their key trait is their athleticism.

Recruiting momentum.

Barna will join a young group. Seth Coleman will be moving on after this year. I assume that Gabe Jacas will man the room and be ready for the professional level during Barna’s freshman year as well. That leaves a room of Barna, Jared Badie, Alec Bryant, Pat Farrell and Calvin Smith. That is quite the impressive room of talent for Charlie Bullen to mold.

This 13 man class currently ranks 40th in the country. Though they rank 10th in the Big Ten, this current 2024 class has fewer recruits compared to the other Big Ten programs. I assume that Bielema is not done, as they hosted a slew of impressive recruits recently. Regardless, this is unprecedented time for Illinois Football. They are displayed a level of competence and confidence many have not seen in quite some time.


Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.