The Illinois football team is proving they can win and this is helping in the recruiting department.
For the first time since 2007, the Illini have won four games in a row. They are 6-4 on the season and 4-3 in the Big Ten. This program has turned the corner and we are building something special. But to continue winning each and every season, the Orange and Blue are going to need to continue building through recruiting. One big-time target right now is Derek Bermudez.
Bermudez is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He is rated as a three-star recruit who is the No. 582 player in the class of 2020 and is listed as the No. 42 safety in the nation. He is also the No. 80 player in the state of Florida.
The recruitment of Bermudez has been a roller coaster. He took an unofficial visit to Illinois back in April of this year. But he was also eyeing Florida State at the same time. He took an unofficial visit to see the Seminoles in April as well. Just a few weeks later, Bermudez decided to commit to Florida State.
This commitment seemed to have ended Bermudez’s recruitment. But Florida State has since moved on from head coach Willie Taggart. This changed the momentum of the recruitment. After another unofficial visit to Florida State, Bermudez decided to reopen his recruitment.
Illinois didn’t miss their chance at getting back into the race for Bermudez’s commitment. This weekend, Bermudez is going to take an official visit to Champaign. The Illini have a bye week between their win at Michigan State and the game against No. 18 Iowa on November 23. This is a perfect opportunity for the coaching staff to really spend some quality time with Bermudez on his official visit.
So many dominos have to fall in certain recruitments. Who knows if Bermudez would still be committed to Florida State if Taggart didn’t get let go. But when opportunity arises, the Illini stepped up. I would also argue that their recent winning streak has a lot to do with getting an official visit from Bermudez. This winning and becoming bowl eligible validates all of the words that have been preached during recruiting visits by this Illinois coaching staff.
Illinois has a chance to land another talented defensive back. We have Marquez Beason getting healthy and returning next season. The only defensive back we have departing the program would be Stanley Green. That means the entire crew is back again in 2020. This defense is going to be special.