The Illinois football team has done a good job recruiting these past few years.
Despite the solid recruiting classes, the Illini still find themselves with some depth issues. Illinois’ class of 2020 took a blow on Tuesday when top wide receiver commit Jadon Thompson flipped his commitment to the Cincinnati Bearcats. That brings me to the question, what is Illinois going to do about depth in the future?
The past two recruiting classes have been small ones. The class of 2019 only had 16 commits and the class of 2020 only has 13 commits. Both of those classes have good talent, but they don’t really attack positions of need for Illinois after the 2020 season.
When the 2020 campaign concludes, three of Illinois’ starting wide receivers will graduate. That is concerning because Casey Washington and Donny Navarro will be the only proven pass catchers on the team. Illinois only has one wide receiver coming in from the class of 2020, and that will be James Frenchie.
The other position that is concerning is defensive back. After the 2020 season both Nate Hobbs and Tony Adams are going to graduate. There is already a hole with safety Stanley Green graduating after this past season. Marquez Beason, Sydney Brown and Devon Witherspoon are really the only guaranteed starters after 2020.
The Orange and Blue only have one defensive back coming in from the class of 2020 and that is Tahveon Nicholson. With the safety and cornerback positions thinning, Illinois will need to recruit those positions hard in the near future.
Illinois’ offensive line is also concerning, with three out of five offensive linemen graduating after the 2020 campaign. Illinois only has three offensive linemen coming in from the class of 2020 as well. This position is a problem because it will have unproven players who maybe starting after the 2020 season.
It has been hard for Illinois because they’re over the scholarship limit. There is only a certain number of scholarship players a team can have. Illinois will need to address these problems soon because they have a lot of talent leaving after the 2020 season.