Illinois football trying to keep the Newton name in the family

This past season, the Illinois football program harbored one of the greatest players in program history, and now we are trying to land his brother
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Illinois football is trying to keep the Newton name in the family, as we are targeting another Newton in the class of 2025.

It was a wild ride when Jer’Zhan Newton was tearing up opponents on the defensive line. The All-American was one of the best players to every come through the Illini program.

Newton has four brothers who also play football. Jervon and Jerquan were older, so their playing days are done. Illinois played against his brother, Jerjuan, when we matched up against Toledo in 2023.

The youngest of the four brothers is Jershaun. Much like the other brothers, the younger Newton is coming out of Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Florida. He is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 631 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 45 athlete in the nation and the No. 88 player coming out of Florida.

What is crazy is that Jer’Zhan, a consensus All-American and second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, was actually ranked lower, No. 1043, in the recruiting ranks. Nonetheless, Illinois knows how good Jer’Zhan was for the program, and adding his brother Jershaun would be great for the future.

Currently, Newton is putting his recruiting plans together. He has numerous big-time offers. In addition to the Illini, teams like Florida State, Louisville, and Miami (FL), among others, have also come in with a scholarship offer. Newton only has one official visit scheduled as of right now, though, and that is to Illinois on June 21.

Illinois football would be getting a true athlete by adding a player like Jershaun Newton to the roster

Unlike Jer’Zhan, Jeshaun is more of a well-rounded athlete. He can play multiple positions on the football field. At Clearwater, he is listed as playing outside linebacker and safety, but his main position is quarterback.

With defensive coordinator Aaron Henry as his main recruiter, I imagine Newton comes into the Illinois program as a defensive player. At 6-foot, 205 pounds, that is the size of a safety, so my guess is he would be hawking over the middle of the field for the Illini in 2025 and beyond.

I think the safety position would be perfect for Newton as well. Illinois keeps landing transfer portal talent, but having someone who can come into the program and develop into a starting safety would be ideal. Obviously, Newton has a ton of natural athletic ability. Henry can coach that ability into an All-Big Ten caliber player. We have seen it in the past, and I believe we will see it in the future as well.

Next. 5 worst Illinois football coaching hires in program history. 5 worst Illinois football coaching hires in program history. dark