Illinois football just secured one of the best junior college defensive players in the country.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Illini have displayed some great defensive talent. Devon Witherspoon was an incredible cornerback who went No. 5 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Illinois also had Jartavius Martin selected in the second round.
Jer’Zhan Newton is next in line. The talented defensive lineman is going to be an All-American, and he is projected to be a top-20 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
On Sunday night, Illinois might have secured the next great player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Daniel Brown took to social media to announce that he has committed to play for Bret Bielema and the Illini. Despite having 25 other scholarship offers, Brown ended up calling Champaign home.
Illinois football is getting a monster edge rusher in class of 2024 JUCO Daniel Brown
Brown is an extremely talented player. He is a 6-foot-1, 240-pound edge rusher from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 20 JUCO player in the country. He is also the best JUCO edge rusher and the No. 6 JUCO player coming out of Kansas.
In year one at Hutchinson CC, Brown played sparingly in eight games. This season, though, he has burst onto the scene with some huge numbers. Brown has played in 10 games in 2023 and has 48.0 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, 2.0 forced fumbles, 2.0 pass breakups, and 1.0 fumble recoveries.
Obviously, the 17.5 sacks this season really jump off the page. Brown’s ability to get to the quarterback is incredible. He has the speed of a safety but the strength of a defensive tackle. While he seems to be a little undersized, his quickness and strength make up for any worries in the size department.
I could see Illinois lining Brown up as some type of hybrid outside linebacker who plays near the line of scrimmage most of the time. He has the speed to keep up with a running back out of the backfield, but when the quarterback drops back, we can bring Brown on a blitz. This is the perfect player for Illinois’ 3-4 or nickel defense.