The Illinois football team picked up a huge transfer on Tuesday afternoon.
I am pretty excited about what the Illini offense will look like this upcoming season. There is a ton of experienced talent returning to the field. But, when the 2021 campaign rolls around, a lot of that talent will graduate leaving massive holes on the Illinois depth chart. One of the big holes will be at wide receiver. On Tuesday, the Illini added to their wide receiver depth with a big addition in Brian Hightower.
Coming out of IMG Academy in Florida, Hightower was rated as a four-star recruit who was the No. 154 player in the class of 2018 and the No. 27 wide receiver in the nation. A ton of teams were after his services, but Miami (FL) was able to pull in the big-time pass-catcher.
As a freshman, Hightower saw some action. He caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Last year, his numbers increased slightly. Before he announced his intentions to transfer, he caught 8 passes for 88 yards.
There were no reports on where Hightower was going to end up. I had no idea Illinois was even in the mix for him. But, on Tuesday, he took to Twitter to announce that he had picked the Illini. This is a decision that will not only help him in the future, but it will improve the Illinois depth chart greatly.
As previously mentioned, Illinois has three senior starting wide receivers this season but not much experience behind them. That had me concerned. Hightower can now come in and sit a year per the NCAA transfer rules. He would then be eligible to play for the 2021 campaign and have two years of eligibility remaining.
There is no doubt in my mind that the 6-foot-3 wide receiver will have a starting role in the one or two years he is with the Illinois program. Hightower brings great size and athletic ability to an offense that will need it in 2021.
This is another great get by the Illinois coaching staff. They continue to prove that the transfer market can be a valuable resource. I am excited to see how they can fill out this team moving forward.