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Thread: Illinois Football Thread

  1. #617
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    I've heard this for quite a few years. The OL was much improved this year and that chatter has seemed to have died down somewhat. I don't know what to think personally. Butkus had to deal with year 1 of Beckman and 2 years with the worst OC possible at Illinois in McGee. He has been trained by the best in the business as an assistant under Harry Hiestand and IIRC, HH was the OL coach at IL when Luke played in Champaign, too.
    Yeah this was kind of out of nowhere a few weeks ago. FWIW my BinLaw knows Butkus and is someone that has dealt with him in the past. Whatever Heistand taught him it didn't stick apparently. Heistand is a special guy too. He has "it" as an OL coach. Especially for a guy who teaches technique that is slightly outdated but he makes it uber effective.

  2. #618
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    Sidenote: Talking to my BinLaw and I guess he says Butkus is a flipping joke as an OL coach and it's really hurting recruiting. Kid got hired as a "name" and isn't well respected at all.
    I'm sure they try their best to exploit the name, and maybe it just goes to his head.
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  3. #619
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    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.
    Recruiting arrow appears to be pointed up but next season will tell all we need to know. If we see an improvement on the field and if recruiting keeps up, then good. If either of those things falls off, I think Lovie probably needs to get bounced.

  5. #621
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    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.

  6. #622
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    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.

  8. #624
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    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 by FirstTimer; 01-04-2019 at 05:53 PM.

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    Another commitment today! Still waiting to see what happens to the defensive side of the ball with the coaching staff.

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    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/c...224342755.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 by FirstTimer; 01-12-2019 at 01:27 PM.

  11. #627
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    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.

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    Illinois always involved in the strangest recruiting situations.

  13. #629
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dennehy View Post
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    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.

  15. #631
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    Diaz basically told him to take a hike.
    No doubt about that.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    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.

  18. #634
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    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.

  19. #635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    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.

  20. #636
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    Cooper's in, they also get that 4* star LB transfer from UDub, Eifler or something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimJohnson View Post
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    Illinois always involved in the strangest recruiting situations.
    Really?

    I am forgetting the others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimer View Post
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    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.

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