- 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.