"I’m just trying to improve my overall game and get the best coaching from these guys,” he said. "They’re good guys who know a lot, and I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Of course, Brodner also gets great coaching at Glenbard West, a perennial power and recent state championship program. His coaches have pushed him to work hard on and off the field, and the improvement is noticeable.
"They definitely picked up my football smarts playing both offense and defense,” he said. "I’m identifying the gaps and holes a lot better now since I’ve played some defense. That and we just get after it in the weight room more, which contributes to the overall success of the program."
Brodner, who has spent most of his high school career so far as a running back, has started playing more on the defensive side of the ball. His success there as well as his physical measurables make him a strong candidate to end up as a defender in college.
"I definitely feel like I’ll be playing defense in college,” he said. "If they want me to play offense, I’ll play offense. It was a tough switch at first, but I’m definitely becoming a better player on the defensive side of the ball."
Brodner received an Illinois offer earlier this spring, and has stayed in frequent contact with the staff. The relationship has grown immensely and he does really like Illinois so far. And despite his original offer being for a running back spot, he did say he could end up lining up on defense there as well.
"I talk to Illinois all the time,” he said. "I love their coaching staff. They’re all good guys. They originally offered me as a running back, but they have the STAR linebacker position, which they said they definitely see me playing once I got down there."
Brodner also got a chance to see the Illinois campus earlier this year, and the trip brought back some memories from early in his high school career when Glenbard West brought home a state title.
"It was sweet,” Brodner said. "They have nice facilities. I got a chance to talk to all the coaches and go around and see how it was. It was fun, though. It’s my home state school. I hadn’t been down there since the state championship game my freshman year, so it was cool to go down on the field and all that."
As far as other schools involved in Brodner’s recruitment, a Big Ten and SEC school will each be in to see the two-way player this coming week, and each school will have him on campus this summer for a camp.