The Illini are starting to build for the future, as they have locked up three-star Sedarius McConnell from Atlanta, Georgia.
With the major news of Ashton Washington joining the Illinois football staff, the Illini are already beginning to put the pieces together for the future.
According to his Instagram, three-star strongside defensive lineman, Sedarius McConnell, will take his talents from Atlanta to Champaign beginning in 2021.
McConnell’s crystal ball projections all led him to choose Illinois, as they are coming off of a bowl game appearance in 2019. McConnell brings a 6-foot-2, 245-pound frame to a defense that is continuing to find an identity.
Illinois first offered McConnell back in April and made an impression on the No. 1132 ranked recruit in the class of 2021. He had offers from numerous Power 5 institutions, including Kansas, Duke, Louisville, Minnesota and Wake Forest, to name a few, but the Orange and Blue came out ahead.
The commitment makes sense for Illinois, considering that Lovie Smith has two members of his coaching staff, Al Davis and Jimmy Lindsey, who reside from Georgia.
“Makes sense when you look at it,” Smith said to Illini Inquirer. “Direct flight from Atlanta to Bloomington. Easy. But as far as an area, yeah, we’re going to go south an awful lot. First, start in our state and then go south from there. Atlanta has been an area before we want to go in.”
McConnell could help fill a crucial void at the defensive end, as four seniors will graduate after the 2020 season. He could play defensive end or defensive tackle, depending on where the coaching staff feels he fits.
His biggest strength is his ability to play the three-technique and the run, something that overwhelmed Illinois in portions of last season.
McConnell is rated as the 92nd best player from Georgia, which should hopefully allow him more time to develop during his senior season this fall. Until then, the future looks bright for the young Champaign squad.