Illini Land Commit From Their Highest-Rated OL Prospect Since 2018

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois has received a verbal commitment from what could be one of the highest rated offensive lineman in the Lovie Smith era.

Brody Wisecarver, a consensus three-star offensive lineman by 247Sports.com and Rivals.com, is the sixth verbal pledge of the Illinois 2021 recruiting class and fifth commitment since the beginning of May.

Wisecarver, a 6-foot-4 and 317-pound prospect, checks a lot of boxes for the Illini’s recruiting philosophy for high school talent in terms of location and potential for positional versatility. Wisecarver currently plays tackle for the Missouri Class 6A defending state champion De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, where he’s started since his freshman year, which is a city that has produced six signees in the last two recruiting cycles.

"I've been greatly blessed with size, strength and loving parents that have allowed me to play football," Wisecarver wrote in his commitment announcement on Twitter. "To every coach and player that I've played for, to Elite Performance and my 2019 De Smet Jesuit Football Champion brothers, I wouldn't be here without all of you and I truly thank you all."

The first offensive lineman commit of the Illini’s 2021 class is slated to eventually star at guard but could kick outside at right tackle because of his athleticism and his evaluation tape shows him being able to effectively get on the perimeter to make blocks at the second level on wide run plays.

“A big body. Has a stocky, wider build. Not necessarily a long kid, but has the size to project to either tackle or guard in college,” 247Sports.com national recruiting expert Allen Trieu stated in his scouting report. “He’s strong, easily moves defenders and finishes blocks. Plays with good leverage. Technically sound in pass protection and strength helps him there, too. Still needs to get quicker to handle speed rushers on the edge. Plays left tackle in high school but likely a right tackle or guard in college. Could develop into an NFL prospect.”

According to 247Sports.com, Wisecarver was offered by Illinois on April 8 and his recruitment was led by Illini offensive line coach Bob McClain and tight ends coach Cory Patterson, who has ties to the St. Louis area after leading Trinity Catholic High School as the head coach for three seasons that included a 27-6 record and a trip to the 2016 Missouri Class 2A championship game.

Wisecarver, who is rated by 247Sports.com as the fourth-best prospect in Missouri and 18th-best offensive guard prospect in the nation, chose Illinois over scholarship offers from Power 5 Conference schools such as West Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan State and Indiana. Even if he needs time to physically and mentally adapt to big-time college football, as most offensive lineman typically do, Wisecarver is guaranteed to fill a big need for the Illini early in his collegiate career for depth purposes as Illinois is slated to five scholarship offensive lineman, including four starters, after this season to graduation. 

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