- Starter: Malik Elzy
This might be a controversial pick, but I think there is a legit shot that Malik Elzy takes the starting job at wide receiver for the Illini. I would imagine some people probably have Casey Washington as a starting wide receiver, but when you have a player of Elzy’s caliber and talent, you can’t have him ride the pine.
Elzy was a four-star recruit who was the No. 227 player in the class of 2023. He has already impressed some of his teammates and coaches on the field. Camp is starting, and I think that will only continue to be the case. Look for Elzy to step up and be one of the best wide receivers on the Illinois roster in 2023.
- 2nd String: Casey Washington
I think Casey Washington is still going to get a ton of snaps even though I have Elzy starting. Washington started nine games over his career and finished last season with 31 receptions for 306 yards. He is a big-time asset to this Illinois offense, and look for Washington to be on the field a lot in 2023.
- 3rd String: Eian Pugh
Illinois has some nice young depth at wide receiver. Eian Pugh came into the program last season and took a redshirt. He was a three-star recruit who was the No. 767 player in the class of 2022. I see Pugh seeing some snaps but being utilized more in 2024 and beyond.
- 4th String: Keion Battle
In 2021, Illinois was able to land Northern Illinois transfer Keion Battle. He didn’t play a game in 2021 but managed to get on the field against Chattanooga in 2022. Battle probably won’t see too many snaps unless it is a blowout game.