Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

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I’ve been concerned by your more pessimistic attitude lately (not that it’s not justified, but that I would prefer hearing good news). Does Lovie have a future here? I am starting to get concerned about the inability to land hardly anybody in state. As someone already mentioned, we are behind offering people, even kids in our backyard (ex. the Beatty kid from Rochester who was offered by Iowa State). It’s sad to watch, and the pandemic is making it even worse.
Sure he has a future if he keeps winning 6+ games every year and keeps hitting on high quality transfers. My concern is we are looking at a big talent drop off in 2 years and it’s hard to keep batting as well as he has on the transfer market.
 
I would argue that Lovie's ability to land quality transfers will be inversely related to his ability to land prep recruits. I am not as concerned with recruiting as most are because of this fact. I'm not saying we are doing great with recruiting. And, someone isn't leaving Alabama for more playing time to go to LSU or Ohio State, where the team is just as stacked at the position. They are going to a place that they can see playing time early and often and the possibility to be showcased, with a dearth of high end talent, there will be a great chance to add these to the roster.

The switch from Illinois to Florida/Georgia was intentional and calculated. We won't know if it is the correct move for a few years, but I am not opposed to it. Lovie has a brand and the country areas in the outskirts of Atlanta suburbs and all over Florida will play better to Lovie's MO and what Champaign offers than Suburb kids. This is not an excuse. I have a hard time imagining this working for most, and potentially even this working for Lovie (not playing the border state game) but that is the strategy and direction.

My bigger concern is that there needs to be a base of solid 3* recruits to plug in with some talented difference makers to round out the culture. Thus far, our difference makers have been under-recruited, low star players and the high star transfers. But to think Lovie will get fired for anything other than product on the field, I think, would be ridiculous. This class will likely be an improvement from the class it replaces. There will still be a need for immediate impact players and we have found those.
 
For some context, here’s where we are this millennium.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Division_I_FBS_football_win-loss_records_in_the_2000s

You can blame Lovie, but Illinois isn’t competing against Minnesota.
Who is Illinois competing against? I don't blame Lovie. He's a mentor, a molder of character, and a fine, highly moral man, but he's not a top flight coach.

I blame the University, the silly decades-long inter-institutional battle between the academic and athletic sides (take a hint from MSU and understand both can thrive and benefit the institution as a whole), the State of Illinois for fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement, the former AD's (who didn't have a clue and rode both football and basketball into the ground trying to save a buck), and the succession of mediocre coaches who were at the helm as the ship took water (Tepper, Turner, Zook, and Beckman--especially Beckman who was utterly incompetent and destructive--in football, and Weber and Groce in basketball). Until recently, the AD has gone cheap, likely in response to pressure from above. Finally, we have an AD in Josh Whitman who is very competent and forward thinking, willing to aim high and take the inherent risk. He took a shot with Lovie, but it hasn't paid off and isn't likely too. At 61, Lovie is fixed; old dog, few, if any, new tricks.

We need fresh blood, innovation, and assertiveness. My hope is that Whitman doesn't compound the misfire with Lovie by holding on too long while the program at best treads water and, more likely, regresses to the mean. The current recruiting climate, to me, is the hand writing on the wall.
 
Who is Illinois competing against? I don't blame Lovie. He's a mentor, a molder of character, and a fine, highly moral man, but he's not a top flight coach.

I blame the University, the silly decades-long inter-institutional battle between the academic and athletic sides (take a hint from MSU and understand both can thrive and benefit the institution as a whole), the State of Illinois for fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement, the former AD's (who didn't have a clue and rode both football and basketball into the ground trying to save a buck), and the succession of mediocre coaches who were at the helm as the ship took water (Tepper, Turner, Zook, and Beckman--especially Beckman who was utterly incompetent and destructive--in football, and Weber and Groce in basketball). Until recently, the AD has gone cheap, likely in response to pressure from above. Finally, we have an AD in Josh Whitman who is very competent and forward thinking, willing to aim high and take the inherent risk. He took a shot with Lovie, but it hasn't paid off and isn't likely too. At 61, Lovie is fixed; old dog, few, if any, new tricks.

We need fresh blood, innovation, and assertiveness. My hope is that Whitman doesn't compound the misfire with Lovie by holding on too long while the program at best treads water and, more likely, regresses to the mean. The current recruiting climate, to me, is the hand writing on the wall.
Do you really think whitman is going to convince donors to flip the bill for a lovie buyout and a new coaches deal in the middle of this? Lovie has built up the floor over these years. You are not going to fire him after a bowl and his first class not even through the program yet. Buyouts and coaching changes can be expensive and destructive. Are you really prepared to have 20 kids transfer out and go back to winning 2 or 3 games a year?
 
Do you really think whitman is going to convince donors to flip the bill for a lovie buyout and a new coaches deal in the middle of this? Lovie has built up the floor over these years. You are not going to fire him after a bowl and his first class not even through the program yet. Buyouts and coaching changes can be expensive and destructive. Are you really prepared to have 20 kids transfer out and go back to winning 2 or 3 games a year?
Donors normally sour on a coach before the AD does. Lovie has gotten us a solid floor and out of a mess but could be heading for another mess if he doesn’t change some of his methods. Also I don’t think 20 kids transfer if he gets fired.
 
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Do you really think whitman is going to convince donors to flip the bill for a lovie buyout and a new coaches deal in the middle of this? Lovie has built up the floor over these years. You are not going to fire him after a bowl and his first class not even through the program yet. Buyouts and coaching changes can be expensive and destructive. Are you really prepared to have 20 kids transfer out and go back to winning 2 or 3 games a year?
Lovie has raised the talent bar a bit from what he inherited. Unfortunately, the other teams in the Big 10 West have improved at a greater rate, and the quality of our on field coaching and development has taken a step back. I can't believe some of the posts on here saying we can't expect to compete with teams like Minnesota - Minnesota! Ohio State and Michigan I get, but thinking we can't compete with frickin' Minnesota is insane.
 
Do you really think whitman is going to convince donors to flip the bill for a lovie buyout and a new coaches deal in the middle of this? Lovie has built up the floor over these years. You are not going to fire him after a bowl and his first class not even through the program yet. Buyouts and coaching changes can be expensive and destructive. Are you really prepared to have 20 kids transfer out and go back to winning 2 or 3 games a year?
You are looking at that in 2021 with Lovie or without Lovie....we will be losing a ton of players after the 2020 season
 
Donors normally sour on a coach before the AD does. Lovie has gotten us a solid floor and out of a mess but could be heading for another mess if he doesn’t change some of his methods. Also I don’t think 20 kids transfer if he gets fired.
Michigan state had 13 transfer, Florida state has 14, mizzou has 11, Washington state 11. Well lose at a minimum of 10-15 kids from a already thin roster. And boosters can complain all they want but it’s not gonna look good if JW is asking other coaching for scholarship/salary reductions and Simultaneously embarking on a 20 million+ coaching decision.
 
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I want Illinois to win as much as anybody. I was in Champaign 81-87 and feel sorry for kids nowadays that don't get that experience. Live in Indiana now, and have another degree from Purdue so I root for the Boilers to finish second in all they do. Both teams have a similar tradition. Lots of great history that is decreasingly relevant. Both teams fired 6-6 coaches (Zook and Hope) and took a big step backwards with one hit wonders from the MAC (Beckman and Hazell). Things are looking up with Lovie. Not as fast as we would like, but with Illinois (and Purdue), we need to enjoy the ride when things are looking up.
 
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How Many High School players are we taking for the class of 2021? Because I would guess Mike Epstein and Ricky Smailing gets Medical Redshirts and Lovie gonna leave a couple spots open for transfers. Cause In my Eyes if we taking a full class of high school then why not take Willie Shaw. But more I think are we really taking a full class of high schools players?
 
Lovie has raised the talent bar a bit from what he inherited. Unfortunately, the other teams in the Big 10 West have improved at a greater rate, and the quality of our on field coaching and development has taken a step back. I can't believe some of the posts on here saying we can't expect to compete with teams like Minnesota - Minnesota! Ohio State and Michigan I get, but thinking we can't compete with frickin' Minnesota is insane.
2020-05-10 (2).png

Lovie raising the talent bar "a bit" is a huge under statement. 2016 when lovie took over to now.
 
Honestly when looking at recruiting I think it matters more on what position you’re hitting at and how often. I’m sure many of you watched Lovie’s Bears and obviously Illinois football. The linebacker is the heartbeat of his defense so if we have guys like Eifler and Cooper mixed in with developing studs Hansen and Harding I’m fine. Of course with want 4 star talent across the board, but for example all Logic really asks of his defensive tackles is take space and stop the run. I definitely think we need to a better job in recruiting/on the transfer market at getting edge rushers though to help take the pressure of his Tampa coverage to stay on receivers for 5 to 6 seconds. That's probably the second most important position in his defense and without Betiku or Roundtree we need to find some good players there fast.
 
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I was just watching film of kids i thing we can land in the class of 2021 and a like of most kids like Trevor Moffit I thing can be a steal but I found one kids who we offers and Let me tell you this kid a different breed. his name is Derrveron Maxwell-Black from lakewood High school. Same school as Notorious Rig and Deuce Spann. Kid can fly on the field. remind of Milo Eifler. He got P5 offers http://www.hudl.com/v/2CVyhj
 
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Also another random thing, but I’m really hoping some of these backup offensive lineman pan out. I was scrolling through our decommitments ad Braeden Daniels started all 14 games at guard for a Top 10 Utah team last season, while true freshman Jakai Clark started 12 games at Miami last season.
 
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Donors normally sour on a coach before the AD does. Lovie has gotten us a solid floor and out of a mess but could be heading for another mess if he doesn’t change some of his methods. Also I don’t think 20 kids transfer if he gets fired.
20 kids won’t transfer, but the new coach will likely have several players that don’t fit their system.
 
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Who is Illinois competing against? I don't blame Lovie. He's a mentor, a molder of character, and a fine, highly moral man, but he's not a top flight coach.

I blame the University, the silly decades-long inter-institutional battle between the academic and athletic sides (take a hint from MSU and understand both can thrive and benefit the institution as a whole), the State of Illinois for fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement, the former AD's (who didn't have a clue and rode both football and basketball into the ground trying to save a buck), and the succession of mediocre coaches who were at the helm as the ship took water (Tepper, Turner, Zook, and Beckman--especially Beckman who was utterly incompetent and destructive--in football, and Weber and Groce in basketball). Until recently, the AD has gone cheap, likely in response to pressure from above. Finally, we have an AD in Josh Whitman who is very competent and forward thinking, willing to aim high and take the inherent risk. He took a shot with Lovie, but it hasn't paid off and isn't likely too. At 61, Lovie is fixed; old dog, few, if any, new tricks.

We need fresh blood, innovation, and assertiveness. My hope is that Whitman doesn't compound the misfire with Lovie by holding on too long while the program at best treads water and, more likely, regresses to the mean. The current recruiting climate, to me, is the hand writing on the wall.
we were competing with Iowa state, Kansas, etc. now we are competing with Indiana, Maryland, Michigan state. We are still a few years away from having someone come in and make a difference. We need two more classes consistent with the talent Lovie has brought in otherwise we lose a class (the year the new coach comes in) And we likely head back into the hole where Illinois is one of the worst football programs for the next few decades. No one can win without talent. We have it now, but after next year, we Will be in the down cycle for at least a year. We need some consistency to pull through the down cycle. If Lovie gets fired, I want it to happen in two years, where we have a semblance of a team with sophomores and freshmen to grow and mold. And then hopefully add new high end talent (which I’m not sure we will get given our academic standards and our reputation)
 
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South Carolina
i can tell you this. We as fans need to be more positive (even though it can be tough) on social media. All of recruits follow guys like Werner and when we bash the staff and recruiting in the comments trust me the recruits see this.
Are we allowed to be critical here?
 
The switch from Illinois to Florida/Georgia was intentional and calculated. We won't know if it is the correct move for a few years, but I am not opposed to it. Lovie has a brand and the country areas in the outskirts of Atlanta suburbs and all over Florida will play better to Lovie's MO and what Champaign offers than Suburb kids. This is not an excuse. I have a hard time imagining this working for most, and potentially even this working for Lovie (not playing the border state game) but that is the strategy and direction.
To me, we've alternated between two positions on instate recruiting: Right now, we're in a "we give them no special treatment and they give us no loyalty" phase. The other phase is "we give them special treatment and attention and they give us no loyalty." If the best kids we can get are in Florida or Georgia or Texas, get them. We can't sacrifice resources for yet another "Illinois was great and I would have loved staying home, but you just can't say no to Michigan/Notre Dame/Nebraska/Wisconsin/Iowa..."
 
South Carolina
I’m not the fan police at all. Never wanted to make it seem like I was. Just stating that 20 negative comments under every Werner commitment tweet isn’t doing us any favors.
Lol I know you're not. I'm not a 247 member so I can't see the negativity there. Complaining on commitments is pretty dumb. There's a time and a place
 
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