CHAMPAIGN — The entirety of Illinois’ 2020 starting offensive line could be gone by the 2021 season. Even if Kendrick Green returns for his redshirt senior season and Verdis Brown beats out Wofford grad transfer Blake Jeresaty, Alex Palczewski, Vederian Lowe and Doug Kramer will all graduate.
Offensive line, then, is clearly a recruiting priority in the 2021 class. Illinois took another step toward addressing that particular issue Saturday with a commitment from DeSmet (Mo.) offensive lineman Brody Wisecarver.
“I wanna keep this short and sweet,” Wisecarver said in a note posted to Twitter. “I’ve been greatly blessed with size, strength and loving parents that have allowed me to play football. To every coach that I have played for, to Elite Performance and my 2019 state football champion brothers at DeSmet Jesuit, I wouldn’t be here without all of you, and I truly thank you all. With that, I am committing to play for the Fighting Illini.”
Wisecarver’s commitment comes during a successful recruiting month for Lovie Smith and Co. Five months of having just a single 2021 commit — three-star Texas quarterback Samari Collier — has been followed by five commits this month alone. Wisecarver followed three-star Georgia athlete Prince Green, three-star Florida linebacker Trevor Moffitt, three-star Georgia defensive end Sedarius McConnell and three-star Florida defensive back Daniel Edwards as Illinois commits this month.
Wisecarver, who checks in at 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds, is also considered a three-star recruit by both Rivals and 247Sports. The former ranks the St. Louis native as the No. 48 offensive tackle in the country and No. 6 overall recruit in Missouri, while the latter has him as the No. 20 guard and No. 7 Missouri recruit.
Wisecarver, who helped lead DeSmet to a 14-0 season and MSHSAA Class 6 state title in 2019, picked Illinois from a top four that also included Kentucky, Michigan State and West Virginia. He had other offers from Arizona, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville and Western Michigan.
While Wisecarver is the first 2021 offensive lineman to commit to Illinois, the Illini also addressed its future depth issues up front with a commitment from Mississippi State transfer Brevyn Jones. The Center Point, Ala., native redshirted in 2019 as a true freshman and will have three years of eligibility remaining if he does not receive a waiver and has to sit out the 2020 season after transferring.