Apr 12, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; A general view of Memorial Stadium before the Illinois Fighting Illini spring football game. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football Lands 2014 JUCO WR Raphael Barr

JUCO Wide Receiver Raphael Barr made his commitment to the Illinois Fighting Illini Football Team official today, and he wasted little time in letting the rest of the world in on it.

So, what are the Illini getting with this late in the game 2014 acquisition?

For starters, they are getting a 6’2”, 205 pound, 4.5 second 40 running weapon that has 3 years of eligibility remaining, and he can make an impact right away provided he gets acclimated to the Illini offense quickly.

It’s no secret that the wide receiving corps has been decimated with the losses of Spencer Harris, Steve Hull, and Ryan Lankford following the completion of last season, and they have wasted little time in backfilling the roster with a plethora of talented wideout options. There is playing time to be had, and plenty of catches to go around in Bill Cubit’s offense. So, naturally, finding talented players to fill the void has been a priority this offseason.

Aside from eligibility, what does Barr bring to the table? Here are his stats from last season, and now let’s check the tape.

His film shows a player that is not afraid to go across the middle, which makes some sense considering how stout he appears to play. He got off press coverage well enough to make a very nice sideline catch at one point, and he also showed good footwork in the back of the endzone on the second catch while getting both feet down despite only needing one foot down in the college game.

Lastly, Barr has familiarity returning kickoffs which is always an added bonus. The more areas a player can contribute in, the more valuable the player can become to the team.

With Barr’s commitment, the Illini have added yet another weapon to this already potentially potent 2014 offensive mixture, and it will certainly be interesting to watch him grow as a player under Coach Bellamy’s tutelage over the next three seasons.

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