5 crucial positions Illinois football needs to address in the transfer portal

We are still a few months out from the 2024 season, but the Illinois football team needs to address some issues on the roster in the transfer portal
Nebraska v Illinois
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Illinois football doesn't start the 2024 season until September, but there is plenty to look at on the depth chart until then.

The transfer portal is always a hot topic and will remain that way for years to come. The Illini have filled some big voids on the roster with the transfer portal, but there is still some work left to do.

Entering the 2024 campaign, Illinois has a decent roster, but depth is a big concern. We can't afford to lose players or the talent level will drop dramatically. That is why we should hit the transfer portal in some key areas to help with depth concerns.

Here are five crucial positions Illinois football needs to address in the transfer portal

Offensive Guard

While the Illinois offensive line didn’t do a bad job last season, there was definitely some room for improvement. I always thought the offensive guard positions could use an upgrade.

Heading into the 2024 season, I believe the starters at guard are likely to be Josh Gesky at left guard and Zy Crisler at right guard.

Crisler has started 24 games the past two seasons and has made the All-Big Ten honorable mention in each of those campaigns. Gesky broke onto the scene in 2023, as he started in eight games and was also an All-Big Ten honorable mention. Both players started in the spring game as well.

There are multiple reasons why I want Illinois to address the guard position in the transfer portal. The first is that Crisler is a senior and Gesky is a junior. We are going to need backups to emerge and develop for starting roles in the next two seasons.

I am also suspect of the depth Illinois has on the roster right now. I am excited to see what Dezmond Schuster can bring as a primary backup. He missed last season with an injury. Hunter Whitenack should be the other primary backup, as he started three games last season. He didn’t have a great season, as he was graded No. 569 out of 628 guards.

Depth and talent are a concern at guard for the Illini. I think our starters are okay, but they are getting older and the depth behind them isn’t stable. Illinois should go out and get a nice young transfer portal guard or two to help bolster this position.