Illinois football is one step closer to landing a top cornerback for 2024.
The Illini managed to get to eight wins last season, which was the most victories since the Rose Bowl run back in 2007. A big part of this great run by the Orange and Blue was our tremendous defense.
Illinois’ defense was led by a secondary that absolutely shut down the opposing offenses. Three of those defensive backs on the great Illini defense were then selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. That leaves a lot of holes in the secondary.
There is a lot of talent coming up on the Illinois roster, but it is always good to reload every recruiting class. One player who would be a great addition to the Illini secondary would be Austin Alexander.
Austin Alexander has the Illinois football program among his top teams
Alexander is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound cornerback from Marian Catholic High School in Illinois. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 410 player in the class of 2024. He is also the No. 40 cornerback in the country and the No. 9 player coming out of Illinois.
On Saturday, On3.com reported that Alexander had cut his list down to just five teams. The five programs vying for his commitment include Purdue, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa State, and Illinois.
So far, Alexander has two official visits set up. He is taking a visit to Kansas on June 9 and will then head to Champaign to see what the Illini have to offer on June 23.
This would obviously be a huge get for the Illinois football program. I believe the Illini should be the front runners based on location and the fact we are one of Alexander’s first official visits.
Alexander would have a chance to make an early impact on the Illinois depth chart as well. Losing players like Devon Witherspoon and Quan Martin leaves a lot of holes in the defense.
Taz Nicholson should be ready to step into a more prominent role. Illinois also has a lot of younger guys who we got to see in the bowl game this past season. They should be able to help in the secondary starting in 2023.
I like what Illinois has done this offseason by adding junior college players and transfers. Demetrius Hill should be a starter at cornerback and Clayton Bush will come in and have a good shot at starting at safety.
But there is a lot of unproven talent on the Illinois roster. 2023 will be crucial to see who can cut it and where we need to improve. I think Alexander could come in and see meaningful snaps in 2024. This development would be important, as he could easily be a starter by 2025. Hopefully, Illinois is able to land this talented in-state defensive back.