EL PASO (WCIA) — The state’s top ranked punter is staying home. El Paso-Gridley senior Declan Duley committed to play for the Illini on Wednesday, following an official visit to campus over the weekend. Duley is the 12th ranked punter in the country in the Class of 2023 according to Kohl’s Professional Camps, an evaluation and recruiting service.

“A big factor was being able to represent my home state and to make an impact not only on my community here, since El Paso is a U of I town, but the younger generation themselves because I know I can make an impact on them,” Duley said.

Illinois will use a scholarship on Duley, a five-star recruit. He’s one of 15 players committed in the Class of 2023 for the Illini and the sixth player from the state to pledge to play for the Orange and Blue.