2. Transfer U
Lovie Smith and the Illinois football team hasn’t been able to sign a full class in a few years. The roster was pretty full for the class of 2020, so we couldn’t bring in a full group of recruits.
Other classes prior to 2020 haven’t been a full grouping either. But I believe this is by design. Illinois doesn’t want to take up every scholarship they have available because they are becoming the Transfer U of the college football world.
I would worry if the Illini weren’t signing full classes and weren’t able to snag transfers. But this coaching staff has proved that they can bring in top talent via the transfer portal. So, we would need available scholarships for these incoming players.
Technically, we haven’t landed a transfer for 2021 yet, but Brian Hightower decided to transfer into the program about a month back. He has to sit out this season and will have two years of eligibility heading into the 2021 campaign. The transfer market for 2021 opens up sometime in the middle of the 2020 campaign too. That is when our coaching staff starts pouncing on players looking for a new home.
So, if you are worried about the class of 2021 because it might not be a full group coming in, you probably shouldn’t. We are unlikely to sign 25 freshmen due to the fact we are so good in the transfer market. I would expect somewhere around 17-20 freshmen signed for 2021. That would leave room for transfers to come into the program.