In-State Fullback Illinois-Bound

Concord (IL) Triopia fullback Dean Arendt has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Illinois and couldn't be more excited to be an Illini.

Shortly after announcing his commitment, Dean Arendt couldn't contain his excitement.

"I'm so excited, it's not even funny," he said.

Arendt, who hails from small-town Concord (IL) Triopia High School, located just northeast of Jacksonville, IL, held interest from several other schools as a preferred walk-on, but in the end, there was only one he felt he could call "home."

"I just felt at home," he said. "Coach Beckman came to the school today. He's just a great guy."

Arendt also had similar offers from Wisconsin and Purdue in the Big Ten, but decided Illinois was the place to be. He is good friends with current Illinois commit Gabe Megginson of Jacksonville.

Arendt said, "Gabe and I are good friends, but it just feels right when I'm (at Illinois)."

Fullbacks in college football are not as common as they once were. Arendt is a physical player who can do more than just lead block.

"I do think I bring a needed lead blocking role with a 'hit you' type attitude," he said. "I played running back in high school, so I have the speed to get outside on stretches and still lead. I can pass protect as well as catch the ball in the flat. Those are all big roles."

Illinois already has a couple of talented running backs either on campus or arriving this summer in Dre Brown and Reggie Corbin and could potentially add another before signing day. With so much more talent at the running back position, Arendt is hopeful that the Illinois ground game will get going, too.

"We have great talent in all aspects of the game and will do what it takes to win games, whether it's running, passing, or a mix of both," he said. "But of course I want us to run more!"

The 6'-0", 235 pound Arendt is a workhorse and plays very physical football. He averaged well over 6 yards per carry in his high school career and played on both sides of the ball for Triopia.

Considering his build, he still has good speed, running in the low 4.7 range at his size, and on tape, he keeps his feet moving, which helps him significantly in breaking ankle tackles.

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