Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

Cincinnati, OH
After the Taggart firing, FSU has started to see some recruiting attrition, including Jaylan Knighton, a 4-star all purpose RB from the same high school as Jakari Norwood and Daniel Barker. Not sure if we're in on him at all, but Barker tweeted a response to Knighton's de-commit tweet.

https://247sports.com/Player/Jaylan-Knighton-46046875/

Doesn't matter, Illinois is nowhere near as good to turn away a top-100 talent because they have a full depth chart at that position. You absolutely take a commitment from a recruit like that and figure out the situation later.
 
Doesn't matter, Illinois is nowhere near as good to turn away a top-100 talent because they have a full depth chart at that position. You absolutely take a commitment from a recruit like that and figure out the situation later.
Not at RB you don’t. If you build a talented, deep, cohesive OL you can throw anyone back there and produce. Wisconsin does it every. single. year. Jonathan Taylor, 3* recruit. Melvin Gordon, low .89 4* recruit. James White, 3* recruit. Montee Ball, 3* recruit. Not a single one of those kids had a ranking in the composite .90s. And I can keep going.

You go get yourself kids who aren’t solely dependent on other positions to create their personal value and then figure out your RB room later.
 
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Likes: sinmyp
Not at RB you don’t. If you build a talented, deep, cohesive OL you can throw anyone back there and produce. Wisconsin does it every. single. year. Jonathan Taylor, 3* recruit. Melvin Gordon, low .89 4* recruit. James White, 3* recruit. Montee Ball, 3* recruit. Not a single one of those kids had a ranking in the composite .90s. And I can keep going.

You go get yourself kids who aren’t solely dependent on other positions to create their personal value and then figure out your RB room later.
3/4 of those guys are NFL caliber players, I think it's safe to say they just aren't any random 3 star running back. They just developed and scouted them well compared to rankings.
 
Likes: CogDog
Who the heck in NuNu Washington and why does anyone care about his opinion? I Googled him and the only thing that comes up is his Twitter. Seems like someone not worth any attention.
 
3/4 of those guys are NFL caliber players, I think it's safe to say they just aren't any random 3 star running back. They just developed and scouted them well compared to rankings.
I think the 2 point is 2 fold.

1) with a well recruited and developed o line, you don’t have to throw 4 or 5 star players behind them to make it work. With a lower level line, that might be your only chance to run the ball.

2) we know 3 of those to be nfl level now, mainly based off how productive they were in college. This leads to 2 questions: A) were they thought to be future nfl players during their recruitment (like a Rejus Benn was)? or B) were they able to max out their talent because of the line that was in front of them?

I think the case for the latter is actually the stronger case, and interestingly enough, plays out in the nfl every year. Think about how many times a team with a great line has their top 1-2 running backs go down, and they have to sign someone off the street. And then that guy off the street has a great game. If he was a true nfl level player he would have been on a roster somewhere, but he’s not. So a second or third level back comes in riding the coattails of his o line to a great game, that he probably doesn’t have the talent to make happen on his own (or like I said, he would have been on a roster already).
 
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Likes: sinmyp
Madison
Who the heck in NuNu Washington and why does anyone care about his opinion? I Googled him and the only thing that comes up is his Twitter. Seems like someone not worth any attention.
I believe he is either the father or uncle of Marcus Washington, a highly rated wide receiver out of the St.. Louis area who eventually chose Texas. We wanted Marcus badly, but it was really a pipe dream as i don't think we were ever serious contenders. Nunu was very involved with Marcus' recruiting (at least from a social media standpoint) and liked to engage with our fanbase, more often than not to tell us our program wasn't quite ready for a talent like his nephew/ son....... Am i remembering that correctly?
 
South Carolina
I believe he is either the father or uncle of Marcus Washington, a highly rated wide receiver out of the St.. Louis area who eventually chose Texas. We wanted Marcus badly, but it was really a pipe dream as i don't think we were ever serious contenders. Nunu was very involved with Marcus' recruiting (at least from a social media standpoint) and liked to engage with our fanbase, more often than not to tell us our program wasn't quite ready for a talent like his nephew/ son....... Am i remembering that correctly?
Sounds right. One missing detail is he played at Trinity Catholic
 
I believe he is either the father or uncle of Marcus Washington, a highly rated wide receiver out of the St.. Louis area who eventually chose Texas. We wanted Marcus badly, but it was really a pipe dream as i don't think we were ever serious contenders. Nunu was very involved with Marcus' recruiting (at least from a social media standpoint) and liked to engage with our fanbase, more often than not to tell us our program wasn't quite ready for a talent like his nephew/ son....... Am i remembering that correctly?
Nunu has been one of the biggest detractors of our program in the St. Louis area. He has been in the ear of the players that chose not to come here. His son, mookie, Bryce, and others. Nunu believed Illinois would always be a doormat, and he was public about al of this. I don’t fault him for doing what he thought was best for his community. But i would also love to have a better record than Texas.
 
I believe he is either the father or uncle of Marcus Washington, a highly rated wide receiver out of the St.. Louis area who eventually chose Texas. We wanted Marcus badly, but it was really a pipe dream as i don't think we were ever serious contenders. Nunu was very involved with Marcus' recruiting (at least from a social media standpoint) and liked to engage with our fanbase, more often than not to tell us our program wasn't quite ready for a talent like his nephew/ son....... Am i remembering that correctly?
Nunu is Marcus's father (100%)
And I believe the uncle of Mookie (80%)
Talked mad ish on twitter about IL, Lovie and the rest of the coaching staff (100%)
 
Nunu has been one of the biggest detractors of our program in the St. Louis area. He has been in the ear of the players that chose not to come here. His son, mookie, Bryce, and others. Nunu believed Illinois would always be a doormat, and he was public about al of this. I don’t fault him for doing what he thought was best for his community. But i would also love to have a better record than Texas.
I never heard for sure on this but was he one of the "voices in his ear" that talked Bryce into decommitting?
 
I never heard for sure on this but was he one of the "voices in his ear" that talked Bryce into decommitting?
From what I heard, Nunu was in the ear of Childress (which is part of the reason it went down the way it did). You can still see him talking up childress on twitter.
 
From what I heard, Nunu was in the ear of Childress (which is part of the reason it went down the way it did). You can still see him talking up childress on twitter.
I hope he feels like a gem for that. I am rooting for Bryce, not sure he is going to make it back to UofI level
 
3/4 of those guys are NFL caliber players, I think it's safe to say they just aren't any random 3 star running back. They just developed and scouted them well compared to rankings.
No, they were 3* star kids and correctly evaluated as such which is one reason why many Wisconsin RBs have fallen flat at the pro level. They are coached and developed well but this has nothing to with unearthing hidden talent. Simply put, Wisconsin churns out OL like a well oiled machine and if you have a talented, cohesive OL, you can put almost anyone back there and produce year after year after year. It's the most dependent position in football.

Reggie Corbin was a 3* composite .82 ranked kid that we didn't even plan on playing much until injuries crept up, look at him now. You never take a RB at the expense of another position and then figure out the details later. You take the other positions and figure out the RB later.
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
No, they were 3* star kids and correctly evaluated as such which is one reason why many Wisconsin RBs have fallen flat at the pro level. They are coached and developed well but this has nothing to with unearthing hidden talent. Simply put, Wisconsin churns out OL like a well oiled machine and if you have a talented, cohesive OL, you can put almost anyone back there and produce year after year after year. It's the most dependent position in football.

Reggie Corbin was a 3* composite .82 ranked kid that we didn't even plan on playing much until injuries crept up, look at him now. You never take a RB at the expense of another position and then figure out the details later. You take the other positions and figure out the RB later.
Never say never (but I hear what you're saying).
 
Never say never (but I hear what you're saying).
Very true and for note, I'm not saying "never" either. I would take the kid but not at the expense of other players which is an important thing to note for where we are today. Even if you factor in losing more players than we might gain in the transfer market (Speculative but fair), we only have room for an additional 4-6 HS seniors. One of those spots in spoken for, so 3-5. If you could only have 3-5 of the players we're in on today, would you honestly put a RB among them? For me, it's last resort.

Without question, I would go all the way to the late signing period holding spots for Doyle and Bermudez if forced. That's not even a discussion in my mind.
 
No, they were 3* star kids and correctly evaluated as such which is one reason why many Wisconsin RBs have fallen flat at the pro level. They are coached and developed well but this has nothing to with unearthing hidden talent. Simply put, Wisconsin churns out OL like a well oiled machine and if you have a talented, cohesive OL, you can put almost anyone back there and produce year after year after year. It's the most dependent position in football.

Reggie Corbin was a 3* composite .82 ranked kid that we didn't even plan on playing much until injuries crept up, look at him now. You never take a RB at the expense of another position and then figure out the details later. You take the other positions and figure out the RB later.
For the most part I agree with this. If you have a great offensive line, your QB will be more protected and have more time to throw, WRs more time to get open, and your running back should not have to make any real decisions until he gets to the second level.
Yes there is the outliers as well. I would take a top end talent over any average Oline prospect of course but I don't think we are talking about that.
If you want a good example of how disregarding your offensive line plays out, look at Florida State the last few years. They still have very talented skill position players outside of QB. But their line is atrocious! (Did I actually spell that right on the first try?)
 
Likes: Twangers
Carbondale, IL
All of a sudden you wish we had more scholarships to play with. Three weeks ago it was a blessing that the new coach wouldn't have to scramble to fill a large class.
 
Likes: Twangers
All of a sudden you wish we had more scholarships to play with. Three weeks ago it was a blessing that the new coach wouldn't have to scramble to fill a large class.
Agreed. If this were the 2021 cycle, this conversation wouldn't exist. We would (Or should) be all over the kid.
 
For the most part I agree with this. If you have a great offensive line, your QB will be more protected and have more time to throw, WRs more time to get open, and your running back should not have to make any real decisions until he gets to the second level.
Yes there is the outliers as well. I would take a top end talent over any average Oline prospect of course but I don't think we are talking about that.
If you want a good example of how disregarding your offensive line plays out, look at Florida State the last few years. They still have very talented skill position players outside of QB. But their line is atrocious! (Did I actually spell that right on the first try?)
My main point is that with so few remaining scholarships, our focus should be to find players at positions that provide stand alone value or value to others, not a position that is purely value dependent. When the time comes that we have built our overall talent pool to match that of teams like Wisconsin and Iowa, we can do whatever we want. Until then, for a team that is still climbing the steep talent hill, we must maximize every scholarship we have. Taking a player at a value dependent position for a team that is already loaded with guys at that value dependent position would be less than ideal. If we had one scholarship available and we could only offer it to this kid or Antonio Doyle, would it even be a conversation?
 
Likes: Dude
Cincinnati, OH
The scholarship numbers are important, and I'm not going to argue that point. My point is more layered. You take the top-100 talent and figure out the next step. Whether that is moving one of the scholarship RBs to another position where their talents can be used. Robert was interested in putting Fedanzo at LB. Can Norwood be moved to a slot WR or defensive back? Is Sims any good? Can we utilize Cumby's speed at another position? Would a combination of grabbing a top-100 RB and moving Fedanzo to LB be a better combination than grabbing two top-1000 recruits? And if we could stop using Wisconsin offensive line as an example for something that applies at Illinois, we would be better off. Their situation is such an outlier. This is the equivalent of the basketball board bringing up Giorgi B. every time the staff is looking at a recruit ranked in the stratosphere on Rivals + 247.

I say this all knowing it's a moot point and the recruit is likely going to Ohio State and we'll be cursing his name in three years.
 
Cincinnati, OH
I also love that we are having serious discussions about whether Illinois should or should not consider taking on a top-100 RB recruit. Shows how much things have improved in a month and that player development is starting to take shape.
 
Likes: Dude
The scholarship numbers are important, and I'm not going to argue that point. My point is more layered. You take the top-100 talent and figure out the next step. Whether that is moving one of the scholarship RBs to another position where their talents can be used. Robert was interested in putting Fedanzo at LB. Can Norwood be moved to a slot WR or defensive back? Is Sims any good? Can we utilize Cumby's speed at another position? Would a combination of grabbing a top-100 RB and moving Fedanzo to LB be a better combination than grabbing two top-1000 recruits? And if we could stop using Wisconsin offensive line as an example for something that applies at Illinois, we would be better off. Their situation is such an outlier. This is the equivalent of the basketball board bringing up Giorgi B. every time the staff is looking at a recruit ranked in the stratosphere on Rivals + 247.

I say this all knowing it's a moot point and the recruit is likely going to Ohio State and we'll be cursing his name in three years.
Bolded: ? Iowa does this, Stanford does this and Alabama operates this way on an annual basis. They routinely churn out RBs who flop at the pro level after going from their blocking scheme and talent discrepancy up front to the NFL where that talent gap no longer exists. This is not an outlier, this is the norm.

I guess we could look at Fedanzo but he wasn't even on my list of guys in that room which was 7-8 deep. We simply need to focus our efforts on players who change the status quo for us, which is not a RB. If our other options fall through, then we can re-visit it (Assuming he's not signed by then which as you point out, he will likely will be).
 
I believe I heard Ira Henry's name on the radio the other day. Got me thinking about other O lineman we missed out on that committed to teams that currently look like bird poo scraped across my windshield this morning. Anything like that going around?