Illinois Football Thread

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
It looks like Illinois has finished the 2019 class strong (better than expected anyway) between the transfers and Cooper committing at the UA game this evening.
Class is really top heavy with like no depth and Cooper was expected so this really doesn't move the needle for me much at all since I was kind of assuming he was in the class. Another thing that kind of drives me nuts about this class is I don't think Williams is a QB and Beason is more valuable at WR, yet they have him at DB. I know they don't even get these guys to campus unless they allow them to play those positions but it seems as though even the big name talent the Illini got is kind of out of position.

Thomas is obviously a huge get but kid is a headcase and keeping him eligible/engaged/focused etc will be a tall task and he won't even see the field until 2020...unless he gets an NCAA waiver.

It's a weird class. Lack of OL really concerns me. The DL guys seem like projects with low floors but high ceilings. FWIW, I like Randolph more than Okpala. Just..an..odd...class.
 

dennehy

Well-known member
2,416
883
70
There's a good chance they'll be getting Luke Ford, which is a huge pick up, and there was a rumor about AD Miller transferring from OU. Either way I'd expect a couple more meaningful additions.
 

Parade_Rain

CCS Donator
Donator
9,214
3,116
70
My favorite teams
Chicago Cubs Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears Illinois Fighting Illini
Class is really top heavy with like no depth and Cooper was expected so this really doesn't move the needle for me much at all since I was kind of assuming he was in the class. Another thing that kind of drives me nuts about this class is I don't think Williams is a QB and Beason is more valuable at WR, yet they have him at DB. I know they don't even get these guys to campus unless they allow them to play those positions but it seems as though even the big name talent the Illini got is kind of out of position.

Thomas is obviously a huge get but kid is a headcase and keeping him eligible/engaged/focused etc will be a tall task and he won't even see the field until 2020...unless he gets an NCAA waiver.

It's a weird class. Lack of OL really concerns me. The DL guys seem like projects with low floors but high ceilings. FWIW, I like Randolph more than Okpala. Just..an..odd...class.
They don't need to keep Thomas eligible. He's a fall semester rental. They've upgraded at WR. Cumby upgrades speed at RB. Rod Smith is the one who wanted I Williams for QB at Illinois. They get the Eifler kid at LB. As for Cooper, FSU has made a late push for him. Even though he has verbally committed to IL, he is taking a late January visit to Tallahassee. I'm 99% sure Cooper will hang at IL, but that brings the point that Illinois did not have any defectors, including Beason. If they get Luke Ford in transfer, they get a TE they wanted last year. OL/DL is not an issue. These are team strengths in 2019. They can afford to miss on OL this year. Next year? I'll be right there with you, if that happens the next recruiting cycle.
 

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
Thomas we'll see...

I'm a big believer in taking 3-4 OL a cycle. Every cycle. This cycle worries me in 2-3 years.

I'm also wary of depending on transfers. Especially with Lovie needing to win next year. Right away. Thomas may not eve be eligible. I guess I didn't get the strategy this go around..and like I said, the guys they did get I don't even know if they can play the positions or if it's the best use of their talent.

The entire class just feels off to me.
 
Last edited:

Parade_Rain

CCS Donator
Donator
9,214
3,116
70
My favorite teams
Chicago Cubs Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears Illinois Fighting Illini
Another commitment today! Still waiting to see what happens to the defensive side of the ball with the coaching staff.
 

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
In the latest update of "Jeff Thomas is a headcase"

Appears he is wanting to go back to Miami now that Richt is gone and Manny Diaz will decide on it:

https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/college/acc/university-of-miami/article224342755.html


Edit: Thomas is on campus in Miami today meeting with the Canes staff.

Apparently he didn't enroll in spring classes at Illinois once Richt retired so he could watch how the coaching search shook out.
 
Last edited:

Parade_Rain

CCS Donator
Donator
9,214
3,116
70
My favorite teams
Chicago Cubs Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears Illinois Fighting Illini
It's possible he doesn't want to take a chance he wouldn't get a waiver and have to play D2 ball this Fall, but it does read like "headcase" outwardly.
 

dennehy

Well-known member
2,416
883
70
Illini getting Alabama grad transfer OL Richie Petitbon, who was a top 100 disappointment at Bama but will obviously be a starter at UI.

Also looks like Jeff Thomas is back on at UI for better or worse. Diaz probably decided it wasn't worth the headache.
 

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
Illini getting Alabama grad transfer OL Richie Petitbon, who was a top 100 disappointment at Bama but will obviously be a starter at UI.

Also looks like Jeff Thomas is back on at UI for better or worse. Diaz probably decided it wasn't worth the headache.
Diaz basically told him to take a hike.
 

Parade_Rain

CCS Donator
Donator
9,214
3,116
70
My favorite teams
Chicago Cubs Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears Illinois Fighting Illini
Obviously recruiting has been good (for Illiniis) for 2019, but I'd like to see a LB or 2 added and anxiously await the defensive coaching hires. Rod Smith was announced on the 19th last year, IINM.
 

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
Obviously recruiting has been good (for Illiniis) for 2019, but I'd like to see a LB or 2 added and anxiously await the defensive coaching hires. Rod Smith was announced on the 19th last year, IINM.
Keeping Cooper in the class was a big get. The class to me is really odd still. I like some of the raw material but I don't like the positional fits.
 

Parade_Rain

CCS Donator
Donator
9,214
3,116
70
My favorite teams
Chicago Cubs Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears Illinois Fighting Illini
Keeping Cooper in the class was a big get. The class to me is really odd still. I like some of the raw material but I don't like the positional fits.
I think he's solid to IL, but one never knows. I'd like to see a transfer or someone moved from a different position. I still think they are too thin there.
 

FirstTimer

v. 2.0: Fully Modded
Staff member
Donator
27,019
15,032
105
I think he's solid to IL, but one never knows. I'd like to see a transfer or someone moved from a different position. I still think they are too thin there.
Cooper committed to U of I about two weeks ago. I doubt FSU even gets him to campus. That's kind of dead in the water right now. FSU is going to go in house with him(if they already haven't) but Cooper is safely Illini.
 

dennehy

Well-known member
2,416
883
70
Cooper's in, they also get that 4* star LB transfer from UDub, Eifler or something like that.
 

TL1961

Well-known member
18,065
6,106
85
Cooper committed to U of I about two weeks ago. I doubt FSU even gets him to campus. That's kind of dead in the water right now. FSU is going to go in house with him(if they already haven't) but Cooper is safely Illini.
I'm a little nervous about him simply because he verbally committed after the early signing period, so we don't have an NLI, and in college football many flip late. I think he will stay with Illinois, but it sure would have been nice to get that signature.
 

TL1961

Well-known member
18,065
6,106
85
I am not sure why so much concern about Beason in a position of less need or being "out of position". How did you determine DB would be out of position"?

We need WRs and DBs, so I don't know that it's a bad thing he's on defense.

As for the transfer route, I understand that is not a preferred method of building a team overall, given that you are either getting a guy for one year only or getting a guy who has to sit (or in some cases, both of those). But for a young team and an unbalanced roster in terms of class, this is not a bad time for transfers.Plus the grad transfer route is far different than transfers or Jucos in years past.

We may or may not have to wait to see Thomas and/or Ford, but FWIW, we picked up transfers from Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Miami.

And these are highly rated recruits, not scrubs. (Those schools do't get "scrubs" anyway) I think these additions will help.

I agree we should always seek OL in every class, but overall this class and the transfers is a major increase in talent level. 1/3 is 2 stars? The average ranking of the HS signees puts Illinois at #30 in the country. Small class, but those transfers really make this a good group in terms of talent and expected impact.
 
Top