Illini football commit Hank Beatty looks to add to unique record heading into Leonard Bowl


ROCHESTER (WCIA) — Hank Beatty has been making history and he didn’t even know it until recently. The do-it-all Rochester senior has already topped 1,000 career yards in both rushing and passing. Add on his 2,700 yards receiving and the Illinois football commit is in rare air. No Rochester player has ever accomplished the feat, it may be a new state record as well.

“I never realized that nobody else had done that,” Beatty said. “I figured somebody might have done it but I never really thought about it.”

“We’ve looked around I don’t think It’s ever been done in Illinois before,” Rochester head coach Derek Leonard said. “I mean it is a unique thing but that just shows how much talent he’s got, and that’s pretty cool.”

Beatty has bounced around from wide receiver to quarterback for the Rockets, and is on track to break 5,000 total career yards this season. The 5-foot-11, 165 pound wide out caught the eye of several Division I programs, but Beatty chose to stay home and play receiver at Illinois, committing in April.

“Just being around the coaching staff, the atmosphere, it really kind of made me realize how awesome it was and how big of a stage it’s going to be,” Beatty said about his future school.

Beatty has already played on the state’s biggest high school stage, winning a Class 5A state championship in 2019, where he led the team with three touchdowns and 200-plus yards as just a sophomore.

“That year we kind of helped the older guys get their win, and I feel like we haven’t won our state championship yet,” said Beatty. “So I think that’s what we want to do is win one for us.”

The QB and WR 1 says he won’t enroll early at Illinois, rather join the team next fall with the majority of the Class of 2022 recruits. For now, his sights are set on defending the Rockets’ state title, and taking back the Leonard Bowl bragging rights in the WCIA 3 Friday Football Fever Spotlight Game of the Week.

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