Dre Brown back at Illinois as new Director of Player Personnel

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Former Illinois football player Dre Brown is returning to his roots, named the program’s Director of Player Personnel on Thursday. Brown comes back to Champaign after spending three years at Notre Dame, most recently working as the Director of Recruiting.

“I have been impressed with Dre’s career since beginning to follow him when I first arrived at Illinois,” Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “His experiences in recruiting at Notre Dame and Tennessee, as well as his background as a player here at Illinois, will be a great asset to our program. It is exciting to bring a person of his caliber back to the Illini famILLy.”

“My wife Lindsay and I are beyond excited to join the famILLy and return home,” Brown said in a statement. “As a proud alumni, the University of Illinois is a special place and has provided me with more opportunities than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to work with Coach Bielema and Pat Embleton to bring top-tier talent to this program. Let’s get to work. I-L-L!”

Brown worked at Tennessee before going to Notre Dame, helping the Irish land three straight Top 12 recruiting classes. As a player, Brown was the Illinois offensive MVP in 2019, accounting for nearly 1,300 all-purpose yards.

Spring practices are wrapping up for the Illini, who are gearing up for their annual Orange and Blue game on Saturday. Defensive line is a spot to watch, with transfers Dennis Briggs Jr. (Florida State) and Enyce Sledge (Auburn) in to try and replace NFL Draft prospects Johnny Newton and Keith Randolph Jr.

“Obviously we lost some really good players up front but with some of the guys we have up front now I think collectively that room can be just as special,” Illinois defensive coordinator Aaron Henry said.

“I just feel my versatility adds a lot,” Briggs Jr. said. “I can play anywhere on the line, anywhere coach needs me and I feel like I’ll fit in and continue to do my best job.”

The Spring Game kicks off at 1 p.m. from Memorial Stadium, admission is free.

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