No. 4 Mississippi
One state that has been a pleasant surprise over the past three recruiting classes has been Mississippi. This state has produced a few talented players who will help the program win a lot of games.
Highest Rated Player: Zy Crisler
Bret Bielema has done a great job snagging JUCO players during his time at Illinois. Zy Crisler was one of those great gets last year.
Crisler came into the Illinois program as a three-star recruit and was ranked as the No. 25 JUCO player in the class of 2022. He was also the No. 7 player coming out of Mississippi.
Now at 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, Crisler is looking to be a starter for the program once again. In his first year at Illinois, Crisler was able to start all 13 games for the Orange and Blue at right guard. I fully expect him to be the starter once again as a junior.
Ashton Hollins also came in from the class of 2022. He entered as an athlete, but he is now a wide receiver on the Illinois roster.
Hollins took a redshirt season in year one, but look for him to make an impact in 2023. At 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, Hollins should be a prime target for Luke Altmyer.
I also like the addition of Kaleb Patterson from the class of 2023. He is a 6-foot-2, 186-pound cornerback from Pearl River Community College. Rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 39 JUCO player in the class of 2023, I fully expect Patterson to come in and give Illinois snaps this season. He has experience, and we need it in the secondary.
Mississippi has been good to Illinois over the past three recruiting classes. It will continue being important in the future, as we have already landed a talented quarterback, Trey Petty, from the class of 2024. Keep an eye on this state moving forward.