Illini men’s golf signs three

CHAMPAGNE, Ill. – Illinois Head Coach mike small announced Wednesday, Nov. 9, the signing of three freshmen – Max Herendeen (Bellevue, Washington), Adam Hunt (Columbia, SC) and Ethan Wilson (St. Albert, Alberta, Canada) – to the Fighting Illini men’s golf roster. The trio will join the Illini next fall as rookies for the 2023-24 season.

MAX HERENDEEN | BELLEVUE, WASH. | BISHOP BLANCHET HIGH SCHOOL

THE STRENGTHS OF HERENDEEN: Herendeen, ranked No. 23 on the AJGA Rankings, was recently named to the 2022 AJGA Rolex All-American Second Team. He is a senior standout at Bishop Blanchet High School where he led the team to the state championship WIAA 2022. Herendeen is the 2022 Washington Junior Golf Player of the Year and has been honored four times as Subway Player of the Year, four times selected to the All-Subway First Team and four times to the first team of all districts. He won the 2022 PGA Junior Championship in August at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Palos Park, Illinois, posting carding rounds of 68-66-70-68 to win the prestigious title by five strokes with a total of 272 holes out of 72 (-16). Including his win at Cog Hill, Herendeen has recorded seven top-25 finishes in 11 AJGA starts over the past year, also earning a tie for second place at AJGA Junior at the Canebrake Club last April. .

QUOTING HERENDEEN: “I chose Illinois to improve under Coach Small and to be in an environment that likes to win.”

SMALL TAKE: “Max brings a resume full of great accomplishments with a mega-load of potential. As the reigning PGA Junior National Champion, he’s proven he can compete successfully on the big stage, and pair that with his love for the game and his deep desire to compete; we look forward to having Max on campus and chasing championships with him next fall.”

ADAM HUNTING | COLOMBIA, SC | AC FLORA HIGH SCHOOL

HUNTING HIGHLIGHTS: Hunt comes to Illinois from Columbia, South Carolina, where he was a five-year honoree at AC Flora High School. Hunt has won five accolades across all regions, was a two-time Upper State Performer, and a three-time South Carolina Honoree. He helped the Falcons to the 2021 and 2022 state championships and earned medalist honors at the 2022 South Carolina 4A Upper State Championship. Additionally, Hunt recorded notable finishes with a third-place finish at the 2022 SCGA Junior Championship and a semi-final at the 2022 SCGA Junior Championship per game.

QUOTE HUNTING: “Illinois is a great opportunity for me to get away from home and get used to a different way of life. The facilities in Illinois are amazing, and Coach Small and Coach Bardgett will give me the best chance of succeed at a high level.”

SMALL TAKE: “Adam brings a lot of junior golf experience and success with him to college. He’s fully recovered from a back injury that sidelined him for a while, and he’s starting to playing solid golf. Adam is loaded with talent and potential, and when he begins to confuse that with the sharp, competitive nature of this program, his growth and development will surely continue.”

Adam Hunt - Signing Day

ETHAN WILSON | ST. ALBERT, ALBERTA, CANADA | ST. ALBERT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

WILSON’S STRENGTHS: Wilson joins the Illini program after a whirlwind stint as a member of the Canadian Junior National Team over the past year. In June, Wilson helped lead Team Canada to the 2022 Toyota Junior World Cup of Golf Team Championship at Hakusan Village Golf Club in Ichishi, Japan. He finished tied for eighth individually with a 54-hole score of 209 (-7), helping to secure a two-stroke victory over host Japan for Team Canada’s first Junior World Cup title. Additionally, Wilson finished tied for eighth (third among amateurs) at the 2021 Alberta Open. He also placed 12e at the 2021 Alberta Junior Championship, finished second at the 2021 Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) National Championship and earned medalist honors at the 2021 Edmonton Junior Championship.

QUOTING WILSON: “The coaching at Illinois is the best of the best, coupled with the history of the program – PGA Tour players and alumni. The campus is amazing, the golf facilities are some of the best in the country, and it’s the perfect university for me.”

SMALL TAKE: “Ethan’s rapid growth and development caught our eye this summer, and we strongly believe he has the tools to play this game at a very high level. Being a member of the Canadian Junior National Team shows his esteem for Canada, and we believe that with his athleticism and strong competitive nature, he will fit in perfectly here at Illinois.”

Ethan Wilson - Signing Day

Michael C. Ford