Illinois Football: Illini land in-state transfer portal safety

The Illinois football roster just got a bit stronger, as we have landed another player from the transfer portal.

Honestly, the transfer portal hasn’t been bad for the Illini this offseason. We have lost a few younger guys, but that usually happens no matter the program. Bret Bielema and the Illinois coaching staff have done a great job pulling guys in from the transfer portal who will make a difference in 2023.

Some of the notable transfers who will make an early impact for the Illini include quarterback Luke Altmyer, who should be starting this season. Illinois was also able to land Demetrius Hill and Nicario Harper, who will both be playing safety for the program. They will both be needed after Illinois lost so much secondary talent to the NFL Draft.

On Tuesday afternoon, Illinois was able to add another player to the secondary via the transfer portal. Clayton Bush took to social media to announce that he was leaving the transfer portal and committing to Illinois. He brings experience and talent to an Illinois secondary that desperately needs it.

Transfer portal safety Clayton Bush will get his chance at snaps for the Illinois football program

This was a great get for Illinois out of the transfer portal. Coming out of South Warren High School in Kentucky, Bush was looked at as a solid recruit. He was a three-star safety who was the No. 1492 player in the class of 2019. He was also the No. 124 safety in the country and the No. 17 player coming out of Kentucky.

Bush would land with Western Kentucky out of high school. He would spend one season with the Hilltoppers before transferring to Southern Illinois. This past season with the Salukis, Hill amassed 47 tackles, three pass deflections, one sack, and one interception.

As a graduate, Bush would decide to transfer. He wanted to find a new home for one final season of college football. Illinois would be his landing spot.

Illinois is now getting a player who has experience and can be slotted in immediately. Just looking at the roster, Bush will get his shot at snaps and, potentially, some starts in his lone year in Champaign.

As I mentioned earlier, Harper and Hill are both coming into the Illinois program as safeties. I think Hill gets the starting nod from day one and doesn’t lose it. He was a freshman All-American last season. But there is another safety spot and a nickel cornerback spot that is still available for the taking.

Illinois has some young talent who could contend for the starting job at both of these positions. I am curious to see who steps up, but regardless, it means we don’t have much experience. This leaves the door open for someone like Bush to come in and see a ton of snaps.

Bielema took over the Illinois program in December 2020. I have been impressed with his recruiting abilities since the moment he took over. I continue to be impressed to the day. This was a great get for the Illini.