Illinois Football: Illini targeting DI transfer cornerback for 2023

CHAMPAIGN, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: An Illinois Fighting Illini helmet is seen on the sidelines during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CHAMPAIGN, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: An Illinois Fighting Illini helmet is seen on the sidelines during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Illinois football is dabbling in the transfer market for a talented defensive back who could help the team in the future.

The transfer market has been good for the Illini since Bret Bielema took over the program. The first transfer he brought in was Calvin Hart Jr., who was a big factor in the Nebraska win last season before going down with an injury.

This season, Illinois is likely to have Tommy DeVito leading the way at quarterback. He transferred in from Syracuse and should be one of the best arms we have seen for the Orange and Blue over the past decade.

Illinois is now looking at another talented transfer in JoJo Johnson. Coming out of Merrillville High School in Indiana, Johnson was a three-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 714 player in the class of 2021 and the No. 52 athlete in the country.


Johnson would commit to Notre Dame out of high school. Due to an ACL injury, Johnson had to miss his freshman season last year. He would then decide to transfer in early 2022. Instead of committing to another DI program, Johnson decided to go the junior college route and play this upcoming season with Iowa Western Community College, which is a powerhouse program in the JUCO world.

Illinois football could use more depth like JoJo Johnson at cornerback in the future.

Johnson will play cornerback for Iowa Western, and I expect him to do well. This will be his first and likely only season with the Reivers, so I expect big things out of him.

This isnโ€™t the first Iowa Western CC player Illinois has recruited. There have been numerous names in the past who have come from this program with the biggest being wide receiver, Geronimo Allison. So, there is a tie to the Illinois program.

I would also like this move for depth on the roster. Illinois has some good players at cornerback entering the 2022 campaign, but the future is what I am worried about. I love players like Elijah Mc-Cantos who will bring a ton of talent to the table, but there isnโ€™t a lot of second and third-string help.

That is where Johnson would come into play. He would provide more competition at cornerback. If he progresses in 2022, Johnson could potentially come into the Illinois program and start from day one. The more competition the better.

I love this offer by Illinois. Johnson has the potential to be a really good player. He just needs to stay healthy. Hopefully, he has a healthy year and likes what he sees with the Illini.

Next. Floor and ceiling for the Illini 2022 campaign. dark