Bret Bielema wrapped up the spring signing day on Wednesday, and is now moving on to 2022.
Bret Bielema’s success at Wisconsin has helped the Illini lands its first commitment from the Badger State in eight years.
Hartland (Wisc.) Arrowhead offensive lineman Joey Okla committed to Illinois on Friday, giving Illinois its first commitment in the Class of 2022. Illinois offered the 6-foot-3, 285-pound interior offensive lineman on Friday, January 29, 2021.
After making his announcement, Okla spoke with IlliniPulse about his decision and why Illinois was the choice.
How does it feel to be committed to Illinois?
“It feels great, it’s a dream come true to be able to play big ten football at an excellent school with an excellent staff.”
How did you know it was the right time to commit?
“I had a zoom call with the staff this past week and the staff really stressed the family aspect of the team. I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
How did you let Illinois’s staff know about your commitment?
“I had a great talk with Coach Bielema last night and told him that Illinois is where I want to be.”
What role did Coach Bart Miller play in your commitment being that he’s your position coach as well as lead recruiter?
“He played a big role, he was the first to reach out to me and that when I was able to get on the phone with him.”
How significant was it to have Bret Bielema involved in your recruitment and what let you know he was the head coach for you at the next level?
“Coach Bielema was huge and how he stressed the family aspect of things was also huge. After I had a zoom call last week with the whole staff and the hospitality they showed, I knew it was the right spot for me.”
What can Illinois fans expect from you?
“They can expect a humble kid who will work his butt off and also a very respectful man as well. They can expect a tough and dependable player.”
Now that you are committed, what’s your role in famILLy22?
“I consider myself an ambassador for the program and the staff. I am going to help the staff with whatever capacity I can to get the best class that Illinois has ever seen.”