Of course we would love to land 2 top 100 prospects every class. But those two are in the top 10 all time for us. Landing 2 top 10 kids as a baseline just isn’t realistic. And I’ve showed the data, the top kids in state historically have favored ND, Michigan and Iowa and Michigan state. If we want to land these kids we need a more competitive product on the field, which will require good evaluations when we aren’t recruiting at a good level.Yes, this is what other, winning programs do all the time. And Mookie Cooper was a Top 100 player who had a direct connection to Corey Patterson. That's a unique case. I'm not saying Illinois should be going for Top 100 players consistently (unless it's a situation like Mookie), but there are over 300 seniors ranked as 4* in the 2021 247 Composite Rankings. Three hundred. Illinois: 7, Missouri: 3, Indiana: 3, Wisconsin: 2, Michigan: 9, Ohio: 9, Minnesota: 2, Iowa: 3. These are 38 of them all in Illinois' back yard. The staff can't identify a few of these guys and land at least one of them?
But Lovie doesn't want to get mixed up in a ton of high profile recruiting battles... C'mon now. They got two 4* players in 2018, two of them in 2019 (both Top-60 classes). This should be the baseline moving forward if the program wants to get where the fanbase is expecting them to be.