Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

Cincinnati, OH
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).

Iowa has had two running backs drafted in the past two decades. Alabama constantly gets the top recruits across all positions. Again, they are an outlier. Illinois cannot look at Alabama and say "we need to do what they are doing". Alabama running backs are elite-level talents that are running behind elite-level talents. Stanford running backs are all high-ranked (Love + McCaffrey) or late-round picks that have high likelihood of flopping in the NFL. But again, what are we arguing? That Illinois needs to emulate Wisconsin and Iowa and Alabama and Stanford? The first step for creating that environment isn't turning down top-100 talents, it's about development on the offensive line. All of these schools also recruit at a much higher clip than Illinois, especially now that Wisconsin has started to dip into national rankings for o-lineman.
 
Cincinnati, OH
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?
Oh man, already totally forgot about that guy.
 
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Iowa has had two running backs drafted in the past two decades. Alabama constantly gets the top recruits across all positions. Again, they are an outlier. Illinois cannot look at Alabama and say "we need to do what they are doing". Alabama running backs are elite-level talents that are running behind elite-level talents. Stanford running backs are all high-ranked (Love + McCaffrey) or late-round picks that have high likelihood of flopping in the NFL. But again, what are we arguing? That Illinois needs to emulate Wisconsin and Iowa and Alabama and Stanford? The first step for creating that environment isn't turning down top-100 talents, it's about development on the offensive line. All of these schools also recruit at a much higher clip than Illinois, especially now that Wisconsin has started to dip into national rankings for o-lineman.
It's clear what we're arguing, value. The RB position has no stand alone value, which is why you routinely see programs run the ball effectively at the college level without top talent or produce talent that goes to the National Football League and subsequently flops (Toby Gerhardt and Stepfan Taylor being two Stanford names you missed). This is anything but an outlier, this is fact of football life. Chasing this specific kid in leui of others is a waste of our very valuable resources (This isn't 2021, we don't have 27 spots to fill) and we gain nothing from it from an individual stand point. All we get is a Top 100 18 year old who can't provide his own value at a position in which we currently have 7-8 legitimate talents. How does that change the status quo for Illinois football? Sounds like a move for perception. We take him just to say we have him.
 
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.
Melvin Gordon and James White are pretty good players, thats been shown since they've been separated from the Wisconsin O Line as NFL players. I really don't think you are considering they are still very talented players, they aren't average 3 stars now, or they'd be out of the league.
 
Melvin Gordon and James White are pretty good players, thats been shown since they've been separated from the Wisconsin O Line as NFL players. I really don't think you are considering they are still very talented players, they aren't average 3 stars now, or they'd be out of the league.
I'm not saying they lack talent, or at least that wasn't my intent. I'm saying that they're not elite level talents and their ranking as higher end 3* star players was and is still the correct evaluation. There's no correlation between that and staying in the NFL, which is a fairly low bar to set. At the RB position, you can plug players of all talent levels into a lineup behind a talented, cohesive OL and get similar if not identical results to a team with a 4 or 5* RB, moreso than any other position in all of sports essentially.

White, in a round about way, also furthers my argument related to value (Or in this case, the lackthereof). As a runner he's an afterthought. His value to NE is catching the ball, he's got 292 career catches. That's fantastic, one could even argue vital to that offense. Unfortunately for US, our RBs will never see this type of value. In 21 games under Rod Smith, our RBs have 44 catches for 406 yards and 0 scores. That's roughly 2 catches for 19 yards on a game by game basis. The only value our backs provide is through actually running the football. Kinda sucks, but what can you do?
 
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I'm not saying they lack talent, or at least that wasn't my intent. I'm saying that they're not elite level talents and their ranking as higher end 3* star players was and is still the correct evaluation. There's no correlation between that and staying in the NFL, which is a fairly low bar to set. At the RB position, you can plug players of all talent levels into a lineup behind a talented, cohesive OL and get similar if not identical results to a team with a 4 or 5* RB, moreso than any other position in all of sports essentially.

White, in a round about way, also furthers my argument related to value (Or in this case, the lackthereof). As a runner he's an afterthought. His value to NE is catching the ball, he's got 292 career catches. That's fantastic, one could even argue vital to that offense. Unfortunately for US, our RBs will never see this type of value. In 21 games under Rod Smith, our RBs have 44 catches for 406 yards and 0 scores. That's roughly 2 catches for 19 yards on a game by game basis. The only value our backs provide is through actually running the football. Kinda sucks, but what can you do?
I think an even better example of this would be the long list of Alabama running backs. They have a list of generational college running backs and then its almost 50/50 when it comes to pro success.
 
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I think an even better example of this would be the long list of Alabama running backs. They have a list of generational college running backs and then its almost 50/50 when it comes to pro success.
I mentioned Bama. But this can be said for most any program, it's not an outlier. This is a football reality. A talented, cohesive OL can overpower teams and allow for prime production for a back at the college level regardless of that back's talent profile. The best way to build a team for a program that is low on resources (Available scholarships being our resources) is to build the infrastructure of talent at positions that provide stand alone value (Wide Receiver, Secondary, Linebacker, Defensive Edge) and value to others (Quarterback, offensive line, defensive interior) and then fill in the positions like RB that are value dependent.

If we're chasing decommits, we can do better.
 
I mentioned Bama. But this can be said for most any program, it's not an outlier. This is a football reality. A talented, cohesive OL can overpower teams and allow for prime production for a back at the college level regardless of that back's talent profile. The best way to build a team for a program that is low on resources (Available scholarships being our resources) is to build the infrastructure of talent at positions that provide stand alone value (Wide Receiver, Secondary, Linebacker, Defensive Edge) and value to others (Quarterback, offensive line, defensive interior) and then fill in the positions like RB that are value dependent.

If we're chasing decommits, we can do better.
I don't pretend to know anything about recruiting. I don't have the time or effort. Only thing I know is from experience and preference. I believe you cannot take enough o-line and d-line in any year.
 
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I don't pretend to know anything about recruiting. I don't have the time or effort. Only thing I know is from experience and preference. I believe you cannot take enough o-line and d-line in any year.
Generally speaking, sure. This year requires a much different approach, however. We have so few available scholarships, we have to really nail down positional numbers going into 202-2021. The 2021 cycle is where we go back to targeting any anyone and everyone that can play, regardless of position.

Oddly enough OL and DL are two areas where we need immediate numbers. Funny how that works.
 
Old Man Club
I'm not saying they lack talent, or at least that wasn't my intent. I'm saying that they're not elite level talents and their ranking as higher end 3* star players was and is still the correct evaluation. There's no correlation between that and staying in the NFL, which is a fairly low bar to set. At the RB position, you can plug players of all talent levels into a lineup behind a talented, cohesive OL and get similar if not identical results to a team with a 4 or 5* RB, moreso than any other position in all of sports essentially.

White, in a round about way, also furthers my argument related to value (Or in this case, the lackthereof). As a runner he's an afterthought. His value to NE is catching the ball, he's got 292 career catches. That's fantastic, one could even argue vital to that offense. Unfortunately for US, our RBs will never see this type of value. In 21 games under Rod Smith, our RBs have 44 catches for 406 yards and 0 scores. That's roughly 2 catches for 19 yards on a game by game basis. The only value our backs provide is through actually running the football. Kinda sucks, but what can you do?
Twangers, as you will dutifully fill out the next 15 blogs, we all know football games are won in the trenches from kiddy ball, high school ball, collage, and pro. That will never change, so let's agree to that, and carry on.
 
Twangers, as you will dutifully fill out the next 15 blogs, we all know football games are won in the trenches from kiddy ball, high school ball, collage, and pro. That will never change, so let's agree to that, and carry on.
Kind of low, TGB. I love Twangers' posts. Block or scroll down if you don't.

I think he's made his point well: it's a small class, efforts need to be made where there is a greater need and better impact on the team. I'm not sure if others are actually debating him on this point.
 
Doubt this kid comes here. But, after watching his tape if he wants to come here, you take him. His ranking is .9522 which puts him in our top ten all time. Last year he ran for 2099 and 28 TD's. He runs away from people, finds the hole, breaks tackles, has some pretty quick moves that makes tacklers miss, and well, he is good. Elite talent or as close as one can get. His offer list alone is elite. Is it better to take a reach player or this guy who could be a difference maker?
 
Doubt this kid comes here. But, after watching his tape if he wants to come here, you take him. His ranking is .9522 which puts him in our top ten all time. Last year he ran for 2099 and 28 TD's. He runs away from people, finds the hole, breaks tackles, has some pretty quick moves that makes tacklers miss, and well, he is good. Elite talent or as close as one can get. His offer list alone is elite. Is it better to take a reach player or this guy who could be a difference maker?
I don't think he is saying take a "reach player" over him. He is just talking about the small available slots left. If we are filling them up with high .8 talented players such as Doyle and "cough" a slot receiver, that leaves very little room to add some needed Olineman.
Lets say we had a chance to add a lineman like Spraggins from East St. Louis if he decommitted from Tenn. Would you rather have him, from that program that is loaded with talent at a position of need, or this .9522 rated RB? I think it would have to be a serious thought out decision.
One side - Everyone always says O lineman are the hardest to rank and develop. Lineman have less odds to matching their rankings to performance (what has been reported on here). Talented athletes in the college game can make a much bigger impact than the NFL ranks. The ability to read, react, break tackles and run away from people can make up any talent deficiencies in your line play.
Other side - You do what it takes to develop an O line room full of boarder line NFL talent, including sacrificing some roster spots for skilled players. If your O line is high end, all your skill position players will become more productive. Instead of relying on one highly talented RB, with a great O line, you can next man up your RBs without losing much production. Possibly enticing those higher end RBs to commit in the future.
I know what I would like, but that doesn't mean it is correct
 
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So, if you could get a Rashard II, you pass him up for an OL? He better be a stud. Not saying this guy is that, he is not. But, if this guy comes in and takes it to the house when others would not have, that makes you better. We are not going to take four more OL and may take zero. I expect we take only defensive players with the remaining four spots. That's even if one or two more open up. Well, we will take Spann at QB. WR is much better than it was and will be even better next year as the frosh we have now are talented and will have a year in. Sidney has been hurt and comes back. We have two coming in who are both four stars. We will not take another unless he is a stud. Like this guy. I bet whomever gets him lines him in the slot at times. Look at his size and speed. OL returns four and has others waiting in the wings and brings in four new ones. Now, the 2021 class in state has some stud RB's in that class and I can see, if you are confident you get one, passing on him. DT is the biggest need and another safety. We need more than one DT as well. But, there is something about the best talent you can get aspect of it as well. He isn't coming here and I am not the coach, but if I was and he wanted to, I take him.
 
So, if you could get a Rashard II, you pass him up for an OL? He better be a stud. Not saying this guy is that, he is not. But, if this guy comes in and takes it to the house when others would not have, that makes you better. We are not going to take four more OL and may take zero. I expect we take only defensive players with the remaining four spots. That's even if one or two more open up. Well, we will take Spann at QB. WR is much better than it was and will be even better next year as the frosh we have now are talented and will have a year in. Sidney has been hurt and comes back. We have two coming in who are both four stars. We will not take another unless he is a stud. Like this guy. I bet whomever gets him lines him in the slot at times. Look at his size and speed. OL returns four and has others waiting in the wings and brings in four new ones. Now, the 2021 class in state has some stud RB's in that class and I can see, if you are confident you get one, passing on him. DT is the biggest need and another safety. We need more than one DT as well. But, there is something about the best talent you can get aspect of it as well. He isn't coming here and I am not the coach, but if I was and he wanted to, I take him.
I literally have no opinion on this particular RB since I know zip about him. I am not saying I would or would not take him. I was just trying to get a little more macro on what Twangers was trying to say. The RB position is somewhat dependent on the production of the O Line, much like a WR is dependent on a QB to throw it somewhere close to him. Our particular roster looks strong at the RB currently and weak at multiple positions, O line, DT, Safety and I would say LB depth wise. With those limited available slots, do you take a high end talented RB or a position of need?
 
I don't think the OL is weak. DT and safety are the two concerns and yes, if he is there to take, I take him. I expect at least one spot is open we do not know about yet as well. Why grab a QB and they will if Spann wants it. The most they will take for OL is one more given the defensive needs. Yes, we are have a lot at RB. But, those guys become LB'ers an safeties all the time...
 
I don't think the OL is weak. DT and safety are the two concerns and yes, if he is there to take, I take him. I expect at least one spot is open we do not know about yet as well. Why grab a QB and they will if Spann wants it. The most they will take for OL is one more given the defensive needs. Yes, we are have a lot at RB. But, those guys become LB'ers an safeties all the time...
It’s looking like Oladipo will be gone, so 4 of our top 6 d line will be gone next season. We look decent at def end, and Right now we look good with two juco dts, finau and shipton, as long as we land them, we would be in decent shape.
 
I don't think the OL is weak. DT and safety are the two concerns and yes, if he is there to take, I take him. I expect at least one spot is open we do not know about yet as well. Why grab a QB and they will if Spann wants it. The most they will take for OL is one more given the defensive needs. Yes, we are have a lot at RB. But, those guys become LB'ers an safeties all the time...
Like I said, I do not have an opinion on this particular RB. But I did find the bolded interesting. This recruiting class currently has three tackles, all within .84-.82 rating, not ideal. Yes they can become way more than that, but we all would like high end .80s I would assume.
Honest question to the public. What is the minimal number of solid O lineman you would like on the roster any given year. I mean ready to step in and start solid. Don't need to be all B1G, but not being a liability either. I would say 6. I am not sure what that number is for the majority of the top 25 teams, but 6 seems like a good number. We currently have 4 on this roster? I don't think Richie has had that good of a year. After watching Verdis with the second string last week, I would say he is not ready for starter level. In two years when we lose three possibly four starters, that is a lot to replace with inexperience. We better be developing these dudes at a very high rate, otherwise we are going to take a dip in O line production
 
It’s looking like Oladipo will be gone, so 4 of our top 6 d line will be gone next season. We look decent at def end, and Right now we look good with two juco dts, finau and shipton, as long as we land them, we would be in decent shape.
Going to need Jamal Woods to stay healthy. He kind of reminds me of Milan right, always getting hurt but very productive when he plays. And we need Calvin to get his head right.
Any news on Denver Warren?
 
I don't think the OL is weak. DT and safety are the two concerns and yes, if he is there to take, I take him. I expect at least one spot is open we do not know about yet as well. Why grab a QB and they will if Spann wants it. The most they will take for OL is one more given the defensive needs. Yes, we are have a lot at RB. But, those guys become LB'ers an safeties all the time...
Bolded: A very common fallacy. Yes, players do get moved from offense to defense (Or vice versa) with some regularity but the percentage of SUCCESSFUL moves from one side to the other is strikingly low.

The point I'm driving upon is simple: Resource allocation in relation to value. Let's think baseball for a minute. A first baseman who hits the ball and fields it at a very high level with never have a WAR that equals a center fielder with reasonably similar optics. Why? It's easier to play first base than it is to play center field and as such, the center fielder will provide more stand alone value than the first baseman. Value. This is what is being missed here. I can, to a certain degree, get most anybody to average 5-6+ yards per carry on 50 carries or more (We have two of them now, both 3* prospects) if my offensive line functions at a high level but I can't run any warm body out there at along the defensive line, at safety or the MIKE in this defensive scheme and get appropriate value. If my resources are limited, which they are for the 2020 cycle, my goal should be to maximize value. Whether it makes sense to you or not, a .95 RB will never give us back the value of a lesser rated 247 player at a position that provides stand alone value or value to others.

Next year, when we're expected to essentially add about 30% of our scholarship players to the roster, this conversation with have little to no merit. Our resources will not be limited, we should be looking to add any talented player we can get to sign on the dotted line. Today, they are.
 
It’s looking like Oladipo will be gone, so 4 of our top 6 d line will be gone next season. We look decent at def end, and Right now we look good with two juco dts, finau and shipton, as long as we land them, we would be in decent shape.
We look decent at DE but iffy yet. Joe Moore would have been a huge get but there's no need to revisit that pain. Tre'Von Riggins would be a big flip, he's still being worked on apparently. I don't know anything about the kid Bailey but he's got an interesting profile. Let's say we make those two happen and the JuCos both sign (Probably need two), hypothetically. We have 3 available scholarships at the current time, 4 if Oladipo is removed from this team. Maybe you get a little long on the transfers out and end up with 2-3 on top of that. After all those adds and subtractions, we have 2-3 spots left. You're not giving away a potential spot for Doyle or Bermudez, you go to the last day hoping they come aboard. Maybe you do that with another potential flip who will remain nameless. Guess what? Now there are no more spots left. And you've got other names with offers left out in the cold, like Shontrail Key and Denver Warren. See how tight things are for us?

I can't stress it enough, this is not 2021. We don't have 27 spots to fill.
 
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Naperville
It’s looking like Oladipo will be gone, so 4 of our top 6 d line will be gone next season. We look decent at def end, and Right now we look good with two juco dts, finau and shipton, as long as we land them, we would be in decent shape.
What is the rotation next year if Oladipo is gone? Avery, Woods, Pate...Okpala? McCoy should not be an option. Pate and Woods have alternated between SDE and 3-technique DT throughout their careers although they've mostly remained on the interior.

Carney was actually playing a bit of 3-technique DT against Rutgers which was odd. Perhaps they were trying him out there to see if he could add depth at that position next year? He probably needs to add 10-15 lbs in the off season if that is the plan.

Recruiting quality HS DTs is very difficult so hopefully we can land Riggins and/or Warren. Key would be a nice add as well.

Who is Shipton? Finau looks like he could help next year.
 
Kind of low, TGB. I love Twangers' posts. Block or scroll down if you don't.

I think he's made his point well: it's a small class, efforts need to be made where there is a greater need and better impact on the team. I'm not sure if others are actually debating him on this point.
I was just saying he is highly underrating the talent of the Wisconsin running backs, those guys have shown their talent in the NFL, it's not all OL. He is absolutely wrong in saying Melvin Gordon is not an elite talent.

Don't get me wrong, I love a talented OL, and I support building it, but between a high 4 star RB and a low 3 or 2 star OL? I'll take the RB. Between 3 star RB and 3 star OL, give me the OL. The spread offense has removed some of the OL importance with spacing and counting bodies with RPOs. OL just need to block one guy each on a play now and you can break a big gain.

BUT, we really need safeties and corners, that's where I really want to see us focus.
 
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Yeah, we don't. Not sure why you say we have three spots. Everyone else reports four. They will take Spann if he commits. If so, they probably lose one, so that is a wash. We would have taken Moore had he committed. He isn't starting next year with his size. None of the kids on our boards could be difference makers next year with one or two exceptions. This kid could be. Not saying he would be, but, he could come in and start on day one. You could also play him in the slot at times as well. He is not coming here and I expect he winds up at Miami. I expect, other than Spann, they go all defense with DT being the huge need and some secondary help next. I really wish they had 6 more spots as they are in on some that would be great pieces on down the road. But for immediate help, this guy is one of the few they are in on and if he called today and said he wants in or you have one scholie left and he wants it, hard to pass up the bird in hand.