Sep 28, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Justin Hardee (19) tries to avoid a tackle by Miami Redhawks defensive back Heath Harding (24) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Hardee Days Until Illinois Fighting Illini Season Opener

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Welcome to our Countdown to Kickoff series!  In this series, we’ll do roster previews as we count down the days until the Illinois Fighting Illini August 30th season opener against Youngstown State.

Next up in the Countdown to Kickoff series is #19 Justin Hardee. Hardee is entering his junior season as a member of the Fighting Illini.

Since his freshman season, the Illini wide receiver has played in every single game for the Orange & Blue.

Last season was the first year of the Bill Cubit offense. Hardee caught eleven passes for 95 yards in twelve games in 2013.

The wide receiver position has shown so much promise for Illinois during the offseason.

Yes, the team lost some quality talent, but it seems as though that talent could have been replaced with the incoming recruits from the 2014 recruiting class.

Right now, ourlads.com has Justin Hardee as one of the three starting wide receivers for the Fighting Illini in 2014. However, this year’s receiver corps for the Illini is loaded with promising talent.

The main returning WR for the team is Martize Barr, but the team also added quality JUCO recruits Geronimo Allison, Raphael Barr, and Tyrin Stone-Davis.

On top of that, freshman Mike Dudek and Malik Turner are turning heads during training camp.

There’s a good chance that Dudek starts for the Illini this season, and Turner has been labelled as a possible “dark horse” contributor.

Even Hardee is feeling the optimism about the Illini offense heading into this upcoming season.

Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on August 30th.

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Tags: Football Illinois Fighting Illini Justin Hardee

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