Illinois football loses another member of the class of 2022 to the transfer portal

Unlike the basketball team, the Illinois football program continues to take hits in the transfer portal
Wisconsin v Illinois
Wisconsin v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The Illinois football program lost another player to the transfer portal on Tuesday morning.

It has been quite an interesting spring for the Illini. The transfer portal is officially open and lasts through April 30. Before we even got to the official start of the chaos, Illinois had five players enter their names into the transfer portal.

On Tuesday, another player joined the fray. Illinois linebacker Jared Badie decided his time in Champaign was done. After two seasons with the Illini, he is now looking for a new program.

There are always players who seem to have a ton of talent but don’t pan out at the power-five level. Badie is one of those guys. He entered the Illinois program as a 6-foot-5, 212-pound linebacker out of Oswego, Illinois.

Badie was originally a three-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 663 player in the class of 2022. He was also the No. 64 linebacker in the country and the No. 13 player coming out of Illinois.

The Illini beat teams like Michigan State, Minnesota, and Tennessee for Badie’s commitment. As a freshman, Badie played in five games and had one tackle on the season. In 2023, he got a chance to play in two games for the Orange and Blue.

With Badie leaving the program, Illinois has now lost seven members of the class of 2022. Shawn Miller, Naivyan Cargill, and Matt Fries departed before the spring transfer portal period, and Badie, Eian Pugh, Owen Anderson, and Joey Okla have entered their names into the transfer portal in the past week or so.

Despite the transfer portal hit, the Illinois football team actually has some depth at linebacker

Badie’s departure saddens me a bit. I thought he was going to be a good player for the Illini. It wouldn’t shock me to see the linebacker stay close to home and play for Purdue. Ryan Walters, former defensive coordinator, Kevin Kane, former outside linebackers coach, and Andy Buh, former linebackers coach, are all on the Purdue coaching staff now.

While losing Badie isn’t good, Illinois at least has some depth at linebacker. I am pretty comfortable with Dylan Rosiek and Kenenna Odeluga manning the middle of the Illini defense. Rosiek led Illinois with 82 tackles last season, and both Odeluga and Rosiek ranked in the top 280 among all linebackers, according to Pro Football Focus.

The depth behind these two is pretty solid too. Jojo Hayden has a bright future. I want to see how James Kreutz develops his linebacker skills too. Malachi Hood and incoming freshman Easton Baker are two to watch for when it comes to snaps in 2024 as well.

I don’t like to lose players, but at least Badie played a position that Illinois has depth in. That could be a reason why he departed. Illinois should be okay even with this transfer portal hit.

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