3. Valen Erickson
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- College: Missouri Tigers
- Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
- Eligibility Left: 3 Years
The state of Illinois has produced some pretty highly-rated recruits over the past five years. Illinois has missed on most of these players, but the second time might be the charm for Valen Erickson.
Coming out of Chicago, Illinois, Erickson was a three-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 819 player in the class of 2022. He was also the No. 68 tackle in the country and the No. 18 player coming out of Illinois.
Erickson had some big-time programs vying for his services, but he picked Missouri as his landing spot. In 2022, Erickson took a redshirt and didn’t play a game. This past season, as a redshirt freshman, he still didn’t get a chance to play before entering the transfer portal.
With three years of eligibility remaining, and Illinois needing help on the offensive line, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to go and get Erickson out of the transfer portal. He had potential coming out of high school, and he is likely looking for a spot where he can see some snaps.
As mentioned in the Luke Newman slide, there are a lot of snaps to be had on the Illinois offensive line in 2024. Both starting Illini offensive tackles are departing. Illinois also didn’t have a good offensive line with those two starting.
I am curious to see what Illinois has coming up behind the two departing offensive tackles. Someone like Brandon Henderson could make an impact on this program. But there are so many question marks right now. The more bodies, the more options.