Illinois Football: Daniel Imatorbhebhe should make instant impact on Illini

The Illinois football team had a huge pick up in the transfer market on Wednesday night.

When the Illini suited up in 2019, they had one of the best wide receivers in the nation out wide. Josh Imatorbhebhe transferred into the Illinois program from USC and had a sensational junior year. With one more season to play at the college level, why not play with someone he is close with?

On Wednesday, Josh’s brother, Daniel Imatorbhebhe decided to end his recruitment and transfer to Illinois. This is a big addition for the Orange and Blue and one that will pay dividends on offense.

Coming out of North Gwinnett High School in Georgia, Imatorbhebhe was rated as a three-star recruit who was the No. 604 player in the class of 2015 and the No. 18 tight end in the nation. He decided to pick Florida over a myriad of other programs.

Before Imatorbhebhe could suit up in a game for the Gators, he would transfer out and commit to USC. He had to sit out the 2015 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules, but the Trojans would be able to play the talented tight end for the 2016 season.

In 2016, Imatorbhebhe finished the year with 17 catches for 250 yards and 4 touchdowns. This was supposed to be the start of a great career. But the following season, Imatorbhebhe went through some injuries and was only able to catch 8 passes for 144 yards.

The injuries only mounted from there for Imatorbhebhe. He would go on to miss the 2018 and 2019 campaigns due to leg injuries. But he was granted a sixth-year of eligibility, so he has decided to find a new home and Illinois is the landing spot.

How will Imatorbhebhe affect the Illinois roster?

I will say it again; this is a huge addition for the Illini. They were already going to have a dirty tight end rotation with Luke Ford and Daniel Barker, but having someone like Imatorbhebhe come in will only help the offense flow even better.

I see Ford starting for the Illini. I think he comes into the season with the most clout on the football field. Barker did have a great year in 2019, though. But I see Barker as the third man on the depth chart. That doesn’t mean he won’t see snaps.

Next: How the Ricky Smalling departure affects the Illini

Illinois is most likely going to adjust their roster to get all three tight ends onto the field. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the most two-tight end sets we have ever seen this season. Illinois has the best weapons on the offensive side of the ball than maybe I have ever seen in program history. The 2020 campaign should be exciting.

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