Illinois Football: Monster transfer portal DB picks the Illini

Illinois football pulled off one of the bigger transfer portal additions in recent memory on Sunday afternoon.

The Illini secondary took a massive hit this offseason. Three starting defensive backs were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, and another was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Illinois is going into the 2023 campaign with a retooled defensive backfield that includes some uncertainty. Over the weekend, Bret Bielema and his coaching staff helped stabilize the secondary with a  big addition.

On Sunday, transfer portal safety Demetrius Hill announced on social media that he was ending his recruitment and landing with the Illini.

Landing Demetrius Hill out of the transfer portal will go a long way in the Illinois football secondary

Adding Hill is big for the Illini. He isn’t just a solid player; this kid has special talent and will help the program immediately.

Coming out of Miami Springs Senior High School, Hill was a top 1000 recruit. He would end up picking Florida International as his landing spot. A redshirt season in 2021 was followed by a freshman All-American campaign in 2022.

Hill would finish his first full season with the Golden Panthers accumulating 95 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 forced fumbles, 2.0 pass deflections, 1.0 sacks, and 1.0 interceptions.

Once that great season concluded, Hill hit the transfer portal. He has now landed with the Illini and will be a key player in the secondary this season.

I see Hill starting from day one at safety for Illinois. We were kind of weak at this position anyway, but losing players like Sydney Brown and Kendall Smith destroys all our safety depth. Hill should be able to come in and help keep us afloat at this position.

Another big addition by Bielema. He has not disappointed in any form or fashion since taking over in December 2020. Illinois is winning on and off the field. Winning recruiting battles like this will go a long way in being successful.