Top 10 most painful Illinois football transfer portal departures of all time

There isn't a long history of transfer portal departures from the Illinois football program, but there are some painful ones we should remember
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl - Illinois v Louisiana Tech
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl - Illinois v Louisiana Tech / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
3 of 10

8. Reggie Love III

This one hasn’t fully taken effect yet, but once the 2024 season starts, it is going to get more painful. I already miss Reggie Love III and what he brought to the Illinois football program.

Coming out of Trinity Catholic High School in Missouri, Love was a highly-touted recruit. He had numerous big-time offers, but the four-star who was ranked in the top 500 in the class of 2020 committed to Illinois.

I was excited about the future with Love at running back. He had to sit behind Chase Brown for a few years, but Love finally started to get his chance to shine. In 2023, he had 116 carries for 567 yards and four touchdowns, all of which were career highs. Another career high was his 4.9 yards per carry.

Illinois has a big up-and-coming running back in Kaden Feagin. On top of the emergence of this horse, the Illini lost running backs coach and Love’s former high school head coach Cory Patterson to Purdue.

With all of that happening, Love decided to enter the transfer portal. His landing spot, the Purdue Boilermakers.

On October 12, Illinois plays Purdue. It is going to kill me to see Love in a Boilermakers’ uniform. If he stays healthy, he is going to be good for that program. This is more of a sentimental transfer loss.