Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

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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..."
This is perfect in my opinion. The instate coaches/parents/handlers haven’t been doing us any favors. They want us to take the Mac level players from their programs while their top players jump out of state and then wanna cry that we don’t support in state players. I’m okay with the Florida/GA strategy until we can again gain a footing instate. We’re gonna have a good football team this seasons with only about 6 starters from instate. I can’t even begin to explain my frustration with some instate coaches especially the one in East St. Louis.
 
Tyngsborough, MA
What will it take to get instate coaches to send their top players to Illinois?
 
At the end of the day, its on the kid to come to IL. If it were me deciding where I wanted to play, its not my coaches decision at the end of the day, its mine! I get some coaches are more supportive of UI than others, but ultimately it comes down to the kid and not the coach! Go get the best kids, if all are out of state I am quite fine as long as they are kids we want. Basketball and football have both seen this plenty, home state kids don't want to be at UI most of the time and you can't force them. Win and make them look silly for going elsewhere!
 
This is perfect in my opinion. The instate coaches/parents/handlers haven’t been doing us any favors. They want us to take the Mac level players from their programs while their top players jump out of state and then wanna cry that we don’t support in state players. I’m okay with the Florida/GA strategy until we can again gain a footing instate. We’re gonna have a good football team this seasons with only about 6 starters from instate. I can’t even begin to explain my frustration with some instate coaches especially the one in East St. Louis.
Let's discuss ESL for a second. Last year, the coach sent out several social media messages trying help Illinois recruit in state. Mizzou fans attacked him from all angles while doing so. He also scrapped his staff yearly visit with Saban and staff to attend Lovie's coaches clinic. After this past season was over, Macon wanted to join Illinois and a call was made. This was before the new staff at Mizzou offered the kid. ESL was told no because they had the Texas kid. This was early January. In February Mizzou started recruiting Macon and made him priority. They didn't recruit another QB until he made his decision. They were looking at another kid from Texas along with one from California. What does all this mean you ask? An in state coach, is promoting your program on social media but yet, a kid from Texas that is ranked lower than your kid is giving priority. Why would any in state coach put up with that? Help me understand what loyalty look like? The last parade all American from the state of Illinois went to the University of Illinois. He was from ESL. He coaches at ESL. There is a big picture of Him and the WR from several years back (Jones) in an Illinois Uniform promoting Illinois. Not sure what else you want Coaches to do. My perception of the above quote is that you want Coaches to FORCE kids to Illinois regardless of how they are treated in the recruiting process. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 
I do believe that we will end this weekend with at least 1 and possibly 2 commits.
I'm trying to stay positive, but this didn't age well, especially since it looks like we went down 1 commit instead of adding 1-2 this weekend. Can someone give me something to be hopeful for. It feels like we are going to have a major drop off in talent after this year and it's extremely hard to be optimistic we have capable replacements coming in given our current class situation.
 
South Carolina
I'm trying to stay positive, but this didn't age well, especially since it looks like we went down 1 commit instead of adding 1-2 this weekend. Can someone give me something to be hopeful for. It feels like we are going to have a major drop off in talent after this year and it's extremely hard to be optimistic we have capable replacements coming in given our current class situation.
Just stick your head in the sand and hope we have a football season this year.
 
Let's discuss ESL for a second. Last year, the coach sent out several social media messages trying help Illinois recruit in state. Mizzou fans attacked him from all angles while doing so. He also scrapped his staff yearly visit with Saban and staff to attend Lovie's coaches clinic. After this past season was over, Macon wanted to join Illinois and a call was made. This was before the new staff at Mizzou offered the kid. ESL was told no because they had the Texas kid. This was early January. In February Mizzou started recruiting Macon and made him priority. They didn't recruit another QB until he made his decision. They were looking at another kid from Texas along with one from California. What does all this mean you ask? An in state coach, is promoting your program on social media but yet, a kid from Texas that is ranked lower than your kid is giving priority. Why would any in state coach put up with that? Help me understand what loyalty look like? The last parade all American from the state of Illinois went to the University of Illinois. He was from ESL. He coaches at ESL. There is a big picture of Him and the WR from several years back (Jones) in an Illinois Uniform promoting Illinois. Not sure what else you want Coaches to do. My perception of the above quote is that you want Coaches to FORCE kids to Illinois regardless of how they are treated in the recruiting process. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Not at all but show me a single other coach in America that tweets out that a staff pulled an offer from his player (luwuan powell). Every other one of his offers pulled out and yet that coach only calls out one program? Where was his tweet at Nebraska or Purdue? Seems fishy to me. Also we have done favors for that coach before and got burned- check out Jeff Thomas or James knight if you would like. And now he’s tweeting out pro mizzou edits? Yeah maybe we gaffed with taking collier over Macon that’s up for discussion. What isn’t is that their is a double standard with how coaches approach Illinois versus other schools.
 
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Not at all but show me a single other coach in America that tweets out that a staff pulled an offer from his player (luwuan powell). Every other one of his offers pulled out and yet that coach only calls out one program? Where was his tweet at Nebraska or Purdue? Seems fishy to me. Also we have done favors for that coach before and got burned- check out Jeff Thomas or James knight if you would like. And now he’s tweeting out pro mizzou edits? Yeah maybe we gaffed with taking collier over Macon that’s up for discussion. What isn’t is that their is a double standard with how coaches approach Illinois versus other schools.
I was just going to ask where the Powell twitter callout fit in Title's timeline. Calling out a BIG10 staff for pulling the offer of a prospect that ended up at Murray State was an odd move by Coach Sunkett.
 
Not at all but show me a single other coach in America that tweets out that a staff pulled an offer from his player (luwuan powell). Every other one of his offers pulled out and yet that coach only calls out one program? Where was his tweet at Nebraska or Purdue? Seems fishy to me. Also we have done favors for that coach before and got burned- check out Jeff Thomas or James knight if you would like. And now he’s tweeting out pro mizzou edits? Yeah maybe we gaffed with taking collier over Macon that’s up for discussion. What isn’t is that their is a double standard with how coaches approach Illinois versus other schools.
Glad you asked. Nebraska and Purdue did not pull his offer but told Powell he could play defense. At the time he didn’t want to and by the time he switched there were no scholarships left. Illinois said the same thing however once scholarships opened up, instead of saying we just don’t want him, they kept beating around the bush. It’s simple, if you don’t want them, don’t offer. All was asked was to be upfront and honest. Not hard to do. Several Coaches in Illinois have similar stories yet the narrative or blame is put on them. Patterson asked to be held accountable in an effort to make things right. I know how it looks as a fan but, there is a lot more behind the scenes. Let’s also be clear. Neither Knight nor Thomas was a favor for ESL. Both were recruiting choice by Illinois. The Coach was simply holding them accountable to their word. Don’t offer a kid you don’t want period! Especially if you want to build a relationship with that coach. Maybe I’m missing something but, it seems simple to me.

The point is a lot happen in recruitment. It’s not as simple as the in state coaches don’t support. Coaches are human and get tired of cleaning up a lot of stuff while getting blamed for recruitment mistakes. ESL has NEVER pushed a lower kid on anyone. There isn’t a need to. Their play dictate their talent level, not the Coach.
 
I'm trying to stay positive, but this didn't age well, especially since it looks like we went down 1 commit instead of adding 1-2 this weekend. Can someone give me something to be hopeful for. It feels like we are going to have a major drop off in talent after this year and it's extremely hard to be optimistic we have capable replacements coming in given our current class situation.
I think we really need to examine the "cliff" people are talking about on here. Maybe i'm a optimist but i don't see this crazy dip in talent that others do. What i do see is a drop in starts and experience, but talent i don't see that.

2020202120202021
QBPeters- 96.84Williams- 94.79DEGay- 81.83Davis- 85.67
QB2Williams- 94.79Spann- 85.66DEBell- 84Coleman- 90
RBBrown- 84.03Brown- 84.03DECarney- 86.96Randolf- 87.01
RB2Epstein- 84.21Epstein- 84.22DTWoods- 80.05Woods- 80.05
WRBehbe- 93.14Washington- 83.23DTAvery- 91.74Avery- 91.75
WRSmalling- 88.68Frenchie- 88.68DLPate- 82.08Newton- 85.19
WRSindey- 93.60Campbell- 85LBHansen- 80.35Knight- 82.39
WRNavarro- 70.00Hightower- 88.00LBCooper- 90.27Cooper- 90.27
WRWashington- 83.23Navarro- 70.00LBEifler- 93.68Gardner- 84.20
TEFord- 97.53Ford- 97.53LBTolson- 85.81Tolson- 85.82
TE2Barker- 83.14Barker- 83.14LBBarnes- 83.90Barnes- 83.91
LTLowe- 83.65Pearl- 84.70CBHobbs- 81.43Beason- 95.64
LGGreen- 88.01Green- 88.01CBBeason- 95.64Witherspoon- 70.00
CKramer- 80.31Brown- 89.45SAdams- 84.72Martin- 83.36
RGJerasaty- 86Slaughter- 85.39SBrown- 82.94Brown- 82.94
RTPalcho- 83.19Jones- 84DBWitherspoon- 70.00Ware- 82.48
OLCerney- 82.92Griffin- 84.24DBSmith- 84.72Smith- 84.72
AVG
86.66​
85.89​
84.71​
85.02​
 
What will it take to get instate coaches to send their top players to Illinois?
Coaches want the best for their players and they want their egos stroked. It's pretty obvious Lovie and his staff aren't into stroking anyone's ego, so take that off the table. With regard to what's best for their players, we are surrounded by programs that develop their players well (Iowa, Wisky, NW, IU), have great football histories and treat their players like kings (OSU, UM, ND, PSU, Nebby), or play a fun style of ball (MInny, PU). The UI has great academics and good facilities. Lovie is a nice grandfatherly type of guy. But let's face it - he's boring and his brand of ball is boring. That would be okay if he were turning walk-ons into NFL players like Iowa and Wisky, but that ain't happening either. He ran off the only player we had who got drafted last year (Vaughn) in favor of a bunch of guys who didn't even sniff a free agent contract, and he hired his unqualified son as a full-time assistant - what does that say about his decision-making?

Many years ago Lou Henson inherited a situation that was even worse than what we are dealing with now - you had HS coaches steering their players to SIU and ISU instead of the UI. I'm sure he complained in private about it but he realized what he had to do and he did it - he hired a couple of really good assistants and he hit the road. It didn't pay off his first year but it started to his second when he landed Cobb and Lanter, then he hit the jackpot his third year with EJ, Smith and Jones. Good instate players have come to UI in the past and there is no reason they won't again, but the coaching staff isn't making a very compelling case right now as to why they should.
 
It really is as simple as Bluemountain states. Kids will come to Illinois when it is more compelling than other places. Right now it is not. Would a new staff change things? Maybe yes, maybe no. It is up to Whitman to figure out.
 
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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.
You probably should see a doctor over this Purdue thing, maybe a shot or something can take care of that.
 
Something that has been a talking point on here for awhile is the talent drop off we should be experiencing after the 2020 season. I get that we will lose between 12-14 starters from the team and a lot of career starts. But what i think people are forgetting is that the talent drop off isn't going to be severe, the experience drop off will be. We will be losing guys with a lot of starts but on paper the talent should be as good if not better in 2021-2022. These list don't even account for transfers which we all know will be joining the roster to fill gaps, preferably some DB's.
2020-05-12 (2).png
 
South Carolina
Something that has been a talking point on here for awhile is the talent drop off we should be experiencing after the 2020 season. I get that we will lose between 12-14 starters from the team and a lot of career starts. But what i think people are forgetting is that the talent drop off isn't going to be severe, the experience drop off will be. We will be losing guys with a lot of starts but on paper the talent should be as good if not better in 2021-2022. These list don't even account for transfers which we all know will be joining the roster to fill gaps, preferably some DB's. View attachment 6013
The numbers don't lie. I'm guessing the drop off concern would be regarding experience. With any team losing so much in a class, the expectations are typically that the team will take a step back (obviously some teams are exempt).

And I see you are including someone in 2022 who hasn't even committed to Illinois, explain yourself.
 
I do believe that we will end this weekend with at least 1 and possibly 2 commits.
I'm trying to stay positive, but this didn't age well, especially since it looks like we went down 1 commit instead of adding 1-2 this weekend. Can someone give me something to be hopeful for. It feels like we are going to have a major drop off in talent after this year and it's extremely hard to be optimistic we have capable replacements coming in given our current class situation.
Yep. it's 2 commits.
@Positive illini fan , you were off by a week, your connections are making you look bad.

@Illini034 The staff will continue to operate on their own timeline and refuse to leak to the press. They feel good about where they are and do not have a concern about talent. They will also not use lack of talent as an excuse on the field moving forward. Although we are far behind on number of recruits, if society reopens at some point before signing day, we are going to see a lot of changes. Kids have been pressured to accept offers because they didn't want to lose the opportunity. As higher star kids make decisions, we are going to see some changes.

@illinidarrin Thanks for your info!
 
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