East Lake’s Dylan Rosiek, one of the area’s top inside linebackers, announced his commitment to Illinois on Wednesday.
Rosiek picked the Illini over offers from 14 other schools, including Air Force, Army, Buffalo, Princeton and Yale.
“I immediately felt a connection with (linebackers coach) Miles Smith and (defensive graduate assistant) Carson Hall,” Rosiek said. “Learning more and more about (the program) just made it easier and easier. The facilities are unreal, the entire staff is unreal, and I’m looking to make an impact as early as I can. Excited to play under one of the greatest defensive minds in the game with one of the greatest defensive staffs in the country.”
Illinois has done well recruiting local talent. That has a lot to do with coach Lovie Smith’s ties to the area.
Since arriving in 2016, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach has had at least one local commit in all but one of his recruiting classes.
The 2020 class was Illinois’ biggest haul yet of area prospects with four prominent players — defensive linemen Quinton McCoy (Bloomingdale), Johnny Newton (Clearwater Central Catholic) and Tre’von Riggins (Lakewood) and dual-threat quarterback Deuce Spann (Lakewood) — all signing with the program.
Rosiek is the second player from East Lake to join the Illini during Smith’s tenure. The first was Jake Hansen, who was part of Smith’s first recruiting class in 2016. Hansen, a senior, is now one of the top linebackers in the country.
“Having Jake up there I was able to get an insider look at the program and see if what they were saying was the truth and it was,” Rosiek said. “It helped a lot but I still did my research and took my time.”
Last year, Rosiek put up big numbers, registering 117 tackles, eight sacks, eight forced fumbles and an interception.