Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

#1
Admin
2021 Illini Football Commits

1) QB Samari Collier (December 7th, 2019)
2) DB Prince Green (May 3rd, 2020)
3) DL Sedarius McConnell (May 20th, 2020)
4) CB Daniel Edwards (May 21st, 2020)
5) OL Brody Wisecarver (May 23rd, 2020)
6) WR Patrick Bryant (June 14th, 2020)
7) LB Dylan Rosiek (June 17th, 2020)
8) DB Joriell Washington (June 19th, 2020)
9) DB DD Snyder (July 6th, 2020)
10) ATH Kalen Villanueva (July 8th, 2020)
11) OL Josh Kreutz (July 9th, 2020)
12) CB Tyler Strain (July 24th, 2020)
13) OL Zachary Barlev (July 24th, 2020)
14) OL Josh Gesky (August 9th, 2020)
15) WR Chevy Brenson (August 10th, 2020)
 
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#2
I had some people PM me and ask for the data regarding when Lovie took over and where we sit now. I found it interesting how dramatically on paper our defense has improved.
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#3
Cincinnati, OH
I had some people PM me and ask for the data regarding when Lovie took over and where we sit now. I found it interesting how dramatically on paper our defense has improved.
View attachment 6156 View attachment 6155

A few things to mention, since this has been shared a few times before.

  1. All of the ratings for transfers are their original ratings and not the new ratings provided by 247. This means that Smith, Jones, Hightower, Petitbon, Ford, and Betiku are all rated too high.
  2. This is something I've mentioned before but is worth mentioning again: 247 ratings have experienced inflation over the years and it's not accurate to compare 247 rankings of the 2016 roster to the 2020 (or 2021) roster and simply say things are so much better. For example, the 2016 roster has Darius Mosely. He has a 87.02 rating and was the 476th ranked prospect in his class. Guess the rating for the 476th ranked prospect in the 2019 class? It's 88.30. You can look at Chunky Clements and see a similar inflation from his 2013 ranking to the 2019 class. Taking the score differential between Mosely and the 2019 ratings and applying it to the entire 2016 defense raises them from 82.49 to 83.70. Offense would go from 83.55 to 84.78.
  3. I would be cautious looking too much at incremental differences between classes because of the (obvious) variance between recruiting rankings and player performance (plus the decisions on who starts). The poster has Cooper in the top rotation (starting lineup?) over some other, lesser-ranked players already on the roster (Ezekiel Holmes). What if Carter, Joseph, or Watt recover from their injuries and break through the starting lineup? That isn't necessarily a bad thing but this rating comparison could show a dip, implying that things have regressed

Lovie has undoubtedly improved the roster. I do think this provides a snapshot of these roster improvements. A resource that provides a robust overview is 247's Team Talent Composite, which provides a roster rating based on every recruit on the roster.

2015 - 60th overall (13th in B1G)
2016 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2017 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2018 - 61st overall (12th in B1G)
2019 - 37th overall (8th in B1G)
 
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#4
A few things to mention, since this has been shared a few times before.

  1. All of the ratings for transfers are their original ratings and not the new ratings provided by 247. This means that Smith, Jones, Hightower, Petitbon, Ford, and Betiku are all rated too high.
  2. This is something I've mentioned before but is worth mentioning again: 247 ratings have experienced inflation over the years and it's not accurate to compare 247 rankings of the 2016 roster to the 2020 (or 2021) roster and simply say things are so much better. For example, the 2016 roster has Darius Mosely. He has a 87.02 rating and was the 476th ranked prospect in his class. Guess the rating for the 476th ranked prospect in the 2019 class? It's 88.30. You can look at Chunky Clements and see a similar inflation from his 2013 ranking to the 2019 class. Taking the score differential between Mosely and the 2019 ratings and applying it to the entire 2016 defense raises them from 82.49 to 83.70. Offense would go from 83.55 to 84.78.
  3. I would be cautious looking too much at incremental differences between classes because of the (obvious) variance between recruiting rankings and player performance (plus the decisions on who starts). The poster has Cooper in the top rotation (starting lineup?) over some other, lesser-ranked players already on the roster (Ezekiel Holmes). What if Carter, Joseph, or Watt recover from their injuries and break through the starting lineup? That isn't necessarily a bad thing but this rating comparison could show a dip, implying that things have regressed

Lovie has undoubtedly improved the roster. I do think this provides a snapshot of these roster improvements. A resource that provides a robust overview is 247's Team Talent Composite, which provides a roster rating based on every recruit on the roster.

2015 - 60th overall (13th in B1G)
2016 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2017 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2018 - 61st overall (12th in B1G)
2019 - 37th overall (8th in B1G)
Actually no they are not their original ratings. Any player that was re-rated as a transfer (Jones, Hightower, jersaty) was reflected as such. I can’t change to a new rating if they were not given one. I agree there have definitely been rating inflations. But I still think this shows how far we have come since lovie took over. And I hope I am wrong and other guys crack the rotation. Would be great for the Illini!
 
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#5
A few things to mention, since this has been shared a few times before.

  1. All of the ratings for transfers are their original ratings and not the new ratings provided by 247. This means that Smith, Jones, Hightower, Petitbon, Ford, and Betiku are all rated too high.
  2. This is something I've mentioned before but is worth mentioning again: 247 ratings have experienced inflation over the years and it's not accurate to compare 247 rankings of the 2016 roster to the 2020 (or 2021) roster and simply say things are so much better. For example, the 2016 roster has Darius Mosely. He has a 87.02 rating and was the 476th ranked prospect in his class. Guess the rating for the 476th ranked prospect in the 2019 class? It's 88.30. You can look at Chunky Clements and see a similar inflation from his 2013 ranking to the 2019 class. Taking the score differential between Mosely and the 2019 ratings and applying it to the entire 2016 defense raises them from 82.49 to 83.70. Offense would go from 83.55 to 84.78.
  3. I would be cautious looking too much at incremental differences between classes because of the (obvious) variance between recruiting rankings and player performance (plus the decisions on who starts). The poster has Cooper in the top rotation (starting lineup?) over some other, lesser-ranked players already on the roster (Ezekiel Holmes). What if Carter, Joseph, or Watt recover from their injuries and break through the starting lineup? That isn't necessarily a bad thing but this rating comparison could show a dip, implying that things have regressed

Lovie has undoubtedly improved the roster. I do think this provides a snapshot of these roster improvements. A resource that provides a robust overview is 247's Team Talent Composite, which provides a roster rating based on every recruit on the roster.

2015 - 60th overall (13th in B1G)
2016 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2017 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2018 - 61st overall (12th in B1G)
2019 - 37th overall (8th in B1G)
1. All rated too high? Are they though? Why is Ford not worth what he was coming out of high school because he spent one year with an elite program? Sure Petitbon isn't going to the league like his HS ranking suggest, but he was a very solid starter, Behbe had quite a few TDs.... The transfers didn't exactly crap the bed and underplay those numbers
2. Why does 247 evaluations have to be inflated? Could it be that with all the specific focus and training techniques, high school athletes are a step above where they were 5 years ago? That means the average 456th player coming out is still the 456th, he is just better than that slot 4 years ago. Which makes a lot of sense
3. Sure
 
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#6
1. All rated too high? Are they though? Why is Ford not worth what he was coming out of high school because he spent one year with an elite program? Sure Petitbon isn't going to the league like his HS ranking suggest, but he was a very solid starter, Behbe had quite a few TDs.... The transfers didn't exactly crap the bed and underplay those numbers
2. Why does 247 evaluations have to be inflated? Could it be that with all the specific focus and training techniques, high school athletes are a step above where they were 5 years ago? That means the average 456th player coming out is still the 456th, he is just better than that slot 4 years ago. Which makes a lot of sense
3. Sure
Considering the massive decline in football participation over the last decade I'm not sure if the 456th player now is better than 5 years ago. Its unclear when that will start trickling up to p5 football if it hasn't already.

All points being made are good. Our defense has clearly improved and the recruiting ratings reflect that but there is clear rating inflation that does not allow for comparison across seasons. An interesting analysis would be to compare the rest of the big ten west across those seasons to see how our improvement measures up.
 
#7
South Carolina
1. All rated too high? Are they though? Why is Ford not worth what he was coming out of high school because he spent one year with an elite program? Sure Petitbon isn't going to the league like his HS ranking suggest, but he was a very solid starter, Behbe had quite a few TDs.... The transfers didn't exactly crap the bed and underplay those numbers
2. Why does 247 evaluations have to be inflated? Could it be that with all the specific focus and training techniques, high school athletes are a step above where they were 5 years ago? That means the average 456th player coming out is still the 456th, he is just better than that slot 4 years ago. Which makes a lot of sense
3. Sure
Yeah it's unfair to throw Ford into that group. I would say Trevon Sidney and Betiku didn't live up to the HS ranking. That does inflate the overall team average. But at the same time you have Weatherspoon in there with a 75 which is probably the furthest departure from actual value imo and brings the average down.

I agree with the overall sentiment that comparing to past years' Illinois teams is not the best measuring stick. It is a cool table and I'm glad things aren't trending in the other direction.
 
#8
Considering the massive decline in football participation over the last decade I'm not sure if the 456th player now is better than 5 years ago. Its unclear when that will start trickling up to p5 football if it hasn't already.
Interesting thought. Let's take a look at the 456th ranked players
2021 Marlin Dean DT Georgia Commit 6-6 265lb. Sadly no confirmed stats to add
2020 Willie Moise DT Costal Carolina Commit 6-3 291lb, 5.6 40 time, 4.78 shuttle, 24.8 verticle
2015 (closes DT is 455) Kingsley Keke DT Texas AM 6-3 290Ilb, drafted by the GB Packers
Interesting note that our own Dre Brown comes in at 457

I went through some 2016 players as well and didn't find any verified results for DTs and I don't care that much to do the research. But it would be a good comparison if we want to see the difference in athlete from 5 years ago
 
#9
Cincinnati, OH
Actually no they are not their original ratings. Any player that was re-rated as a transfer (Jones, Hightower, jersaty) was reflected as such. I can’t change to a new rating if they were not given one. I agree there have definitely been rating inflations. But I still think this shows how far we have come since lovie took over. And I hope I am wrong and other guys crack the rotation. Would be great for the Illini!


I jumped the gun after checking a few of them and assuming any re-ranked transfer was incorrect, but yes there are multiple ones you have listed at their original HS ratings:

  • Hightower was .9366 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8500 as a transfer (you have him as .88)
  • TreSean Smith was .8613 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8400 as a transfer (you have him at .8613)
  • Derrick Smith was .8472 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8000 as a transfer (you have him at .8472)
  • Ford was .9753 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .9300 as a transfer (you have him at .9753)
  • Petitbon was .9696 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8500 as a transfer (you have him at .9696)
  • Betiku was .9884 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8700 as a transfer (you have him at .9884)
 
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#10
Cincinnati, OH
Yeah it's unfair to throw Ford into that group. I would say Trevon Sidney and Betiku didn't live up to the HS ranking. That does inflate the overall team average. But at the same time you have Weatherspoon in there with a 75 which is probably the furthest departure from actual value imo and brings the average down.

I agree with the overall sentiment that comparing to past years' Illinois teams is not the best measuring stick. It is a cool table and I'm glad things aren't trending in the other direction.


Yes, having Jake Hansen and his poor rating is much preferred over a higher rated backup. Recruit ratings are best for assessing their likelihood of being a successful player entering into college, but after that it's much more of a crapshoot and shouldn't be a factor in playing time.
 
#11
I jumped the gun after checking a few of them and assuming any re-ranked transfer was incorrect, but yes there are multiple ones you have listed at their original HS ratings:

  • Hightower was .9366 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8500 as a transfer (you have him as .88)
  • TreSean Smith was .8613 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8400 as a transfer (you have him at .8613)
  • Derrick Smith was .8472 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8000 as a transfer (you have him at .8472)
  • Ford was .9753 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .9300 as a transfer (you have him at .9753)
  • Petitbon was .9696 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8500 as a transfer (you have him at .9696)
  • Betiku was .9884 as a HS recruit, re-ranked at .8700 as a transfer (you have him at .9884)
I made the table a while ago and some of those guys I must have missed their re rankings. I will change it to the ones you provided. Thanks for brining it to my attention!
 
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#12
Actually no they are not their original ratings. Any player that was re-rated as a transfer (Jones, Hightower, jersaty) was reflected as such. I can’t change to a new rating if they were not given one. I agree there have definitely been rating inflations. But I still think this shows how far we have come since lovie took over. And I hope I am wrong and other guys crack the rotation. Would be great for the Illini!
I believe @mhuml32 is referring to the transfer ratings 24/7 gives. For instance, for the 2019 class, Luke Ford would be 0.9300 (T) instead of 0.9753 (HS),
Oluwole Betiku Jr. would be 0.8700 (T) instead of 0.9884 (HS) and Richie Petitbon would be 0.8500 (T) instead of 0.9696 (HS). For the 2020 class, TreSean Smith should be 0.8400 (T) instead of 0.8613 (HS), Brian Hightower should be 0.8500 (T) instead of 0.8800 (I'm not sure where that number came from because his high school rating was 0.9366). It seems disingenuous that you selected the transfer ratings for Brevyn Jones and Blake Jeresaty since they were rated higher, but you didn't for the others where the ratings went lower.

I agree with @mhuml32's other point about looking at the whole class instead of picking a partial two deep. You kept at least two of Beckman's higher rated recruits out by doing this (Vaughn and Dre Brown), and based on your selective use of the transfer ratings, I suspect this was deliberate. In fact, you do include Brown in 2019 where you can say, "Look what Lovie did!"

The ironic part of these ratings mhuml32 posted is that I don't believe they take into account the transfer ratings.
Lovie has undoubtedly improved the roster. I do think this provides a snapshot of these roster improvements. A resource that provides a robust overview is 247's Team Talent Composite, which provides a roster rating based on every recruit on the roster.

2015 - 60th overall (13th in B1G)
2016 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2017 - 64th overall (13th in B1G)
2018 - 61st overall (12th in B1G)
2019 - 37th overall (8th in B1G)

I agree that Lovie has improved the roster, but as shown here, so has everyone else in the conference.

Edit: I guess I'm a little late to the party for some of this.
 
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#13
I had some people PM me and ask for the data regarding when Lovie took over and where we sit now. I found it interesting how dramatically on paper our defense has improved.
View attachment 6156 View attachment 6155
One other thing I noticed is that you bumped Navarro from 70 in 2019 and 2020 to 75 in 2021. Deliberate? In a way, it is unfair to rate Navarro and Witherspoon so low. They weren't rated at all, which doesn't necessarily mean they should be that low.
 
#14
I believe @mhuml32 is referring to the transfer ratings 24/7 gives. For instance, for the 2019 class, Luke Ford would be 0.9300 (T) instead of 0.9753 (HS),
Oluwole Betiku Jr. would be 0.8700 (T) instead of 0.9884 (HS) and Richie Petitbon would be 0.8500 (T) instead of 0.9696 (HS). For the 2020 class, TreSean Smith should be 0.8400 (T) instead of 0.8613 (HS), Brian Hightower should be 0.8500 (T) instead of 0.8800 (I'm not sure where that number came from because his high school rating was 0.9366). It seems disingenuous that you selected the transfer ratings for Brevyn Jones and Blake Jeresaty since they were rated higher, but you didn't for the others where the ratings went lower.

I agree with @mhuml32's other point about looking at the whole class instead of picking a partial two deep. You kept at least two of Beckman's higher rated recruits out by doing this (Vaughn and Dre Brown), and based on your selective use of the transfer ratings, I suspect this was deliberate. In fact, you do include Brown in 2019 where you can say, "Look what Lovie did!"

The ironic part of these ratings mhuml32 posted is that I don't believe they take into account the transfer ratings.


I agree that Lovie has improved the roster, but as shown here, so has everyone else in the conference.

Edit: I guess I'm a little late to the party for some of this.
No actually the reason brown and Vaughn weren't included is that they weren't in the top 2 for production. I simply went off the production for offensive players. Vaughn and Brown simply weren't top 2 running backs in either 2016 or 2017. And then brown didn't become top two in rushing until 2019 (when he was included). And yes i agree it's tough but i had to give a baseline to those without rankings (zach grant, witherspoon, navarro). And of course i will gladly change the transfers to the rankings you provided, i must have missed some of those guys being re-ranked. I went with a 75 for non-ranked because if i went any higher i would have some people on here claiming i'm inflating the rankings to make it look better.
 
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#15
No actually the reason brown and Vaughn weren't included is that they weren't in the top 2 for production. I simply went off the production for offensive players. Vaughn and Brown simply weren't top 2 running backs in either 2016 or 2017. And then brown didn't become top two in rushing until 2019 (when he was included). And yes i agree it's tough but i had to give a baseline to those without rankings (zach grant, witherspoon, navarro). And of course i will gladly change the transfers to the rankings you provided, i must have missed some of those guys being re-ranked. I went with a 75 for non-ranked because if i went any higher i would have some people on here claiming i'm inflating the rankings to make it look better.
But if you are going by production, why do you include anyone from 2020 and 2021 and compare them to 2016?

24/7 doesn't include unranked players in the averages, so I don't know why you don't do the same. It would slightly help Lovie's numbers.
 
#16
Jimbo Fisher and A&M just got hit with some recruiting violations
 
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#17
So not to get anyone's hopes up but rumor going around is that markiese Irving isn't out of the picture. Minnesota has had 4 de-commits already including two - 4* level players in the last 30 days. They have fallen to 6th in the big ten and 17th nationally down from 7th a couple weeks ago.
 
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#18
So not to get anyone's hopes up but rumor going around is that markiese Irving isn't out of the picture. Minnesota has had 4 de-commits already including two - 4* level players in the last 30 days. They have fallen to 6th in the big ten and 17th nationally down from 7th a couple weeks ago.
That would be an excellent turn of events. I'm curious as to what would cause Minny to lose its luster.
 
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#19
Tyngsborough, MA
So not to get anyone's hopes up but rumor going around is that markiese Irving isn't out of the picture. Minnesota has had 4 de-commits already including two - 4* level players in the last 30 days. They have fallen to 6th in the big ten and 17th nationally down from 7th a couple weeks ago.

Long, slow process?
 
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#20
That would be an excellent turn of events. I'm curious as to what would cause Minny to lose its luster.
I think they call it "Buyer's Remorse". There are lawyers now who also specialize in helping the recruits get out of their timeshares as well. ;)
 
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#21
That would be an excellent turn of events. I'm curious as to what would cause Minny to lose its luster.
I call it the cocaine approach. They push really hard/fast and PJ’s energy resonates with kids. They also tell kids that the offer won’t be around forever. And then once a kid starts to come down off the high they start to question the decision and decommit. He’s had 40 decommits since 2017.
 
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