Signing Day Spotlight: Olalere Oladipo

Defensive end was a huge priority in the 2017 class, and Illinois landed a good one from within state borders in Olalere Oladipo. Illini Inquirer's Jeremy Werner and Ryan Easterling take a closer look at what the Illini are getting in the Huntley (IL) defensive end.

Ryan Easterling’s Scouting Report

Reminds me of: Carolina Panthers DE Kony Ealy.  Oladipo already has a good frame with long arms and plays at a decent weight, but has the potential to carry another 15-20 pounds on that frame and mold himself into an impact player at defensive end.  Oladipo, who played on the interior for a lot of his senior campaign saw double teams quite often.  But when he was able to play on the outside, his pass rushing and run stopping abilities both shined.


Oladipo, like Ealy, had his fair share of offers coming out of high school, including several P5 offers, but neither was an “elite” recruit.  That being said, Oladipo has the potential to turn into one of the most solid defensive ends in the Big Ten if he can reach his potential in the way that Ealy did at Missouri.

First-year impact

Oladipo brings some great versatility and may best project as three-technique defensive tackle in Lovie Smith’s scheme. But early on he will rep at defensive end -- and likely play. The Illini return just three scholarship -- and unproven -- defensive ends. Oladipo and Owen Carney should crack the two-deep quickly, and possibly the starting lineup. Oladipo is more raw than Carney (who will also have a spring under his belt), but expect Oladipo to play -- and take some lumps early on. - Jeremy Werner

Werner’s narrative

An in-state defensive lineman with offers from Penn State, Michigan State, Missouri and several others actually chose Illinois. Oladipo -- who committed in late August -- was one of the first signs that Illinois could win battles for in-state linemen with high-quality power-five offers. The Illini took that next step when they added Kendrick Green and then Alex Palczewski. These are the type of in-state prospects that too often have gone to Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, etc. If Illinois keeps landing the Oladipos in this state, they will be competitive -- and maybe really good -- in the trenches before too long.


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