By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting
August 31, 2021
Hunter Whitenack, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle from New Carlisle, Indiana, checked in with IlliniGuys to talk about his visit to Champaign Saturday and his thoughts on his future teammates.
Illini fans, if you do not know much about Hunter Whitenack, in the coming years you will.
This recruiting class of 2022 is unique in so many different aspects. For example, there is a massive group text going with the players from coast-to-coast that is used daily and often the parents of this class have their own group chat as well. They have charisma; they are aggressive in letting players know they want them to be a part of their "Family."
The leader of this group appears to be Hunter.
"Yeah, I'll have to talk to my mom about the adult group chat. The game was awesome, the whole environment from the packed student section to the locker room after the huge win. I can't wait to be a part of it," Whitenack said.
This group is close and they have bought into what this current staff is about. The common theme from all recruits: they feel this staff is about family, that they are very honest and do not take any shortcuts with them as players. When the new commits join the group messages, they make sure that is the case, an effort that is often led by Whitenack.
"I always want to be a leader. Being a leader comes with pressure and that I'm ready for. This football class is going to change Illinois football," he said.
A very bold statement by someone who has yet to step on campus, but Whitenack backed it up with his plan to accomplish this.
"We're going to make it a must-watch football. Saturday when all the players came out of the locker room, it gave me goosebumps, kinda knowing one day Joey Donovan and others will be getting cheered on by thousands of Illinois fans," Whitenack said.
"The new word ‘family’ has a new meaning for the group. Not only have the players taken it to heart, but the entire community also has," he said.
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