Recruiting: Illinois Steals One From Western Michigan

January 30, 2012

B1G Recruiting, Illinois Football

BJ Bello is getting an orange helmet.

The Illini are keeping Lincoln-Way West linebacker BJ Bello at home, after he had initially committed to Western Michigan.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

“I called up the coaches at Western Michigan and told them I was going to sign with Illinois,” said Bello, who committed to Western Michigan in September. “… It was something I felt I had to do. Illinois is just too good of an opportunity for me to pass up.”

Bello was recruited by the new Illinois coaches when they were at Toledo, a key factor in his change of heart.

“I’ve liked these coaches since they were at Toledo, and to see them now at Illinois just made the decision that much easier,” Bello said. “Illinois offers me a chance to play in the Big Ten, along with getting a top-notch education.”

Here’s some video of Bello:

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5 Comments on “Recruiting: Illinois Steals One From Western Michigan”

  1. numildcats2003 Says:

    Glad to see Illinois is managing to keep a solid recruit at home. I think the strength of the Big Ten conference is defined by its depth and thus the successes of the mid-level programs like Illinois, Purdue, and Northwestern.


  2. numildcats2003 Says:

    Actually, after my own comment labeling NU, Illinois and Purdue as the middle, I did my own little research and checked the Big Ten records for all the members over the last 20 seasons. Here you go:

    Ohio State: 121-37-2
    Michigan: 109-49-2
    Penn State: 96-56-0
    Nebraska: 5-3-0 (small sample size, I know)
    Wisconsin: 96-61-3
    Iowa: 83-76-1
    Michigan St: 82-77-1
    Purdue: 72-85-3
    Northwestern: 68-92-0
    Illinois: 55-103-2
    Minnesota: 50-110-0
    Indiana: 37-123-0

    Based on that, I think you could make an argument that Iowa, Michigan St, Purdue, and Northwestern are the middle. Just an interesting way to look at it…


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