Illinois Gets QB Of The Future With First Commitment of 2021 Class

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- If recruiting logic dictates you must sign a quarterback every year, Illinois solved that issue with its first pledge of the 2021 recruiting class.

Samari Collier, a three-star signal-caller from DeSoto (Texas) High School who just finished his junior season, announced on Twitter Saturday evening he was verbally committing to the Illini program. Collier, who is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, is the first verbal pledge of Illinois’ 2021 class as the Illini coaches are trying to execute a critical official visit weekend for the upcoming 2020 recruiting class.

According to, Collier is ranked the 26th-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2021 recruiting class and the 113th-best overall prospect in the state of Texas. Illini publisher and editor Jeremy Werner reported Collier’s main recruiting contact on the Illini coaching staff is tight ends coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker. Collier’s only other Division 1 scholarship offer was from New Mexico State.

While leading DeSoto to a 9-3 season that ended with a second round appearance in the Class 6A state playoffs, Collier completed 164 of 291 passes for 2,641 yards and 33 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Collier was also the team’s second-leading rusher by finishing with 482 yards on the ground. Collier had three games this season where he tossed five or more touchdowns and three games of 300 yards or more through the air.

Desoto High School is located just 16 miles south of Dallas and this Illini staff has signed eight players from the state of Texas including sophomore defensive tackle Calvin Avery, freshman wide receiver Casey Washington and former four-star prospect Marquez Beason.

Illinois signed Isaiah Williams, the program’s highest-ranked quarterback recruit since Juice Williams in 2006, in the 2019 class. The Illini have a verbal pledge from four-star C.J. Dixon from Loganville, Georgia but he is one of the few verbal commits to not attend the Champaign-Urbana campus this weekend as part of a major official visit weekend.