Bret Bielema has built a culture of achievement within the Illinois football program.

This winning culture for the Illini not only looks successful on the field, but this culture also helps with recruitment.

Bielema entered the scene in 2021, so his first recruiting class was the class of 2022. The Illini managed to win the nation’s No. 46 class that year. A top 50 class was a rarity before Bielema took over.

Could our head coach follow this top 50 class in 2022 with another top 50 group in 2023? The answer is moving towards yes. Illinois currently sits in the No. 47 class in the country for 2023 after top-1000 recruit Brandon Henderson enlisted the Illini on Nov. 15.

I think it’s fair to say that the Illini have good recruitment dynamics. The momentum built up from Classes 2022 and 2023 is now spilling over into Class 2024. On Tuesday, Brandon Hansen decided to end his enlistment and sign for Illinois.

Hansen is a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Mundelein Cons High School in Mundelein, Illinois. He is ranked as a three-star recruit and the No. 633 player in the Class of 2024. He is also the No. 48 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 18 player to hail from Illinois.

Brandon Hansen is a great start to the Illinois football class in 2024.

There are many reasons to be happy about the Hansen commitment. I think landing a player for 2024 should get Illini Nation going. We’re a team that can land players in future classes and not just the class we’re in right now.

I think Illinois fans should love the fact that we just landed a top 1000 recruit as the first player to sign for 2024. That’s a pretty big deal considering not many top players have wanted to come to Illinois in the past. Now we’re landing this caliber of players for the future.

Illinois landing a state player is also important. Bret Bielema wanted to win Illinois State, and he’s sticking to his word. The fact that Hansen is a top 1000 recruit and only ranked No. 18 in the state of Illinois shows just how much talent there is in the state for 2024.

Finally, can we talk about the potential Illinois has on offense? Bielema’s impact on the pigs up front is exciting. We’re developing the talent that was already on the team and there are so many high quality offensive linemen joining the fight. I can’t wait to see what Hansen can do in this mix.

This is a major commitment for the Illinois football program. We’re on the board now for 2024. The first two classes for Bielema will likely end up in the top 50, so maybe we can go higher and land a top 40 class for 2024. The sky is the limit.

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