Illinois' Recruiting Class at a Glance
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Illinois’ Recruiting Class at a Glance

September 19, 2019

Have you ever wondered how Nebraska’s opponent for the current week is doing in recruiting? Perhaps you’d like to know more about the battles on the recruiting trail in recent years. In this new feature, we are going to take a look weekly at some key factors in recruiting for the team Nebraska is facing.

We’ve gone through Colorado and Northern Illinois. Now we will take a look at Illinois.

Illinois’ 2020 recruiting class at a glance:

Quarterback 1
Running back 1
Wide receiver 2
Offensive line 3
Defensive line  1
Total commits 8

Best current commit: 4-star quarterback CJ Dixon

Did Nebraska recruit any of the players in their class?

Yes, Nebraska did recruit players on the Illinois’ commit list. The Illini’s classes have not been great overall during Lovie Smith’s tenure. Yet, they have managed to do something that the Huskers are struggling with. They recruit St Louis well. There are two Trinity Catholic High School players in their 2020 class. James Frenchie, a 4-star wide receiver is committed to them. Also 3-star running back Reggie Love is in their class.

Are there remaining targets on their board that Nebraska is also recruiting?

Nebraska and Illinois do still have a few remaining common targets. Wide receiver Lawaun Powell has both schools in his top group and is looking to take an official to Nebraska. Cardinal Ritter (Missouri) defensive end Joe Moore was once part of Minnesota’s class. He now has interest in both schools. Linebacker Antonio Doyle is a player that many schools covet including Nebraska and Illinois. Both schools are likely on the outside looking in with Doyle.

Any prospects from their last class playing as freshmen?

Illinois has done a good job of sprinkling their freshmen into game action so far in 2019. Wide receiver Kyron Cumby has one reception for 31 yards and a punt return for 6 yards. Defensive back Devon Witherspoon has 6 total tackles. Shammond Cooper, a highly-touted linebacker, has 5 total tackles. Tarique Barnes has 4 total tackles and has forced a fumble. Defensive lineman Keith Randolph Jr. has two total tackles.

How has Nebraska recruited the state?

In a surprise to me, Nebraska has not recruited Illinois well. Since 2015 Nebraska has only signed one player from the state. The program has only offered 29 Illinois natives in that time period. The Land of Lincoln just hasn’t been a priority for the Huskers. There are a few 2021 targets from the state that Nebraska is after. The top 2021 target is defensive end Ryan Keeler who visited for the Northern Illinois game.

Are there any notable players that Nebraska lost to them?

Marquez Beason, an athlete from Duncanville High School in Texas was commtted to Nebraska. He verbally committed to the previous coaching staff twice but didn’t end up in the 2019 class when Frost took over. Beason was set to have a large role with the Illini this season but suffered a knee injury during fall camp.

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