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
Nebraska v Illinois / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Nose Tackle

You can’t have an entire defensive line depart the program and not be concerned for some area of that defensive line. My biggest issue with the Illini defensive line right now is the nose tackle position.

I miss Denzel Daxon, and we haven’t even played a game. He was an underrated part of the Illinois defensive line last season. Now the Illini have to move on without him, and I don’t really like what I see at nose tackle.

Heading into the 2024 campaign, I have TeRah Edwards snagging the starting job at nose tackle. The senior has never started a game but has played in all 25 games for the Illini the past two seasons. He transferred into the program after his freshman season at Northwestern.

Edwards is a nice player, but he doesn’t give me confidence in the Illinois defensive line. He hasn’t seen a start during his career, and he is entering his senior season. That means the coaching staff hasn’t seen something in him yet, and that worries me.

There isn’t a ton of depth at the nose tackle position either, although Illinois could essentially put anyone in there because they all have nice size. I have incoming transfer Enyce Sledge as his primary backup.

Sledge transferred in from Auburn where he saw a total of 11 snaps. I think there is potential there with Sledge, but it would have been nice to have him develop more and then unleash him next season. That won’t be the case, though.

Illinois should go out and get a nice nose tackle in the transfer portal. While that might be difficult at this point in the game, we need some stability in the middle of the defensive line or teams are going to be able to run all over us this season.