Illinois Football Recruiting Thread

#552      
Cincinnati, OH
Mangham does seem like a long-shot with the WV crystal balls, including recent ones. Pulling out Laughery and Miller does give up some confidence even when Illinois might not be considered the favorite. Regardless, there is a serious lack of recruits in this class on the defensive side. Mangham (likely CB or S in this class) would be a huge boost and would give the best defensive recruit since Cooper.
 
#553      
Cincinnati, OH
Kutas to arkansas, hopefully brown and allen are 2 guys we can get for the d line.

This stinks. Kutas is going to be really good. Mounting pressure on getting one or both of Brown/Allen for 2021 (or uncovering a late bloomer). Wouldn't mind getting a grad transfer but the roster could really use a couple incoming freshman.
 
#554      
Colorado Springs, CO
Did Baer commit somewhere else? I know there was talk but I don't remember seeing it officially. Thanks.
 
#555      
Colorado Springs, CO
This stinks. Kutas is going to be really good. Mounting pressure on getting one or both of Brown/Allen for 2021 (or uncovering a late bloomer). Wouldn't mind getting a grad transfer but the roster could really use a couple incoming freshman.
Roster really could use a lot of incoming defensive players period.
 
#558      
Cincinnati, OH
More 247 data diving for Bielema's first recruiting class comparative to Lovie's recruiting history at Illinois. Leaving out 2021 since BB finished Lovie's class. 2022 recruiting rankings as current as of 7/18/21. 247's AVG score is based on quality instead of quantity. Was going to blow this out by looking at comparative numbers of P5 offers per class but it was going to take up more time than I can provide.

Lovie Smith's Recruiting Classes
2017 - 46th ranked class / 28 commits / .8371 247 AVG / 9 top-1000 recruits / 10th ranked B1G class
2018 - 54th ranked class / 27 commits / .8381 / 7 top-1000 recruits / 12th ranked B1G class
2019 - 53rd ranked class / 16 commits / .8622 / 7 top-1000 recruits / 13th ranked B1G class
2020 - 88th ranked class / 14 commits / .8490 / 5 top-1000 recruits / 14th ranked B1G class


Bret Bielema's Recruiting Class
2022 - 36th ranked class / 15 commits / .8459 / 5 top-1000 recruits / 8th ranked B1G class


Tough for this to be an excellent comparison because the class isn't finished buuuut a couple observations.

- I really have a hard time believing that Bielema's # of top-1000 recruits is going to go down. Lower ranked guys could drop off but Laughery had plenty of P5 offers. I don't see it happening. On the other end, guys like Anderson + Whitenack + Hollins are really close to #1000. Also, coaching staff is likely going to commit some serious time at higher and higher ranked guys now that most of the class is into place. Two current commits going into the top-1000 and two future commits being top-1000. Is 9 enough? Does that number need to be 11-12 to feel better about this first class? We won't know for another 4+ years.
- 8th ranked B1G would be the best since 2015. Seven years. Could really use an average B1G class to start off his coaching staff's tenure. 8th ranked class is when you can start envisioning .500 in-conference seasons with decent player development.
- Looking more at Lovie's recruiting classes makes me respect his earlier work to build a better floor from roster talent. He changed directions in later years that brought in higher quality talent but less prep recruits while leaning on college transfers. It helped fill some roster gaps but also lead to him losing more and more steam on the traditional recruiting trail. Mixing that with a pessimistic future based on poor on-field performance lead to his downfall.
 
#560      
More 247 data diving for Bielema's first recruiting class comparative to Lovie's recruiting history at Illinois. Leaving out 2021 since BB finished Lovie's class. 2022 recruiting rankings as current as of 7/18/21. 247's AVG score is based on quality instead of quantity. Was going to blow this out by looking at comparative numbers of P5 offers per class but it was going to take up more time than I can provide.

Lovie Smith's Recruiting Classes
2017 - 46th ranked class / 28 commits / .8371 247 AVG / 9 top-1000 recruits / 10th ranked B1G class
2018 - 54th ranked class / 27 commits / .8381 / 7 top-1000 recruits / 12th ranked B1G class
2019 - 53rd ranked class / 16 commits / .8622 / 7 top-1000 recruits / 13th ranked B1G class
2020 - 88th ranked class / 14 commits / .8490 / 5 top-1000 recruits / 14th ranked B1G class


Bret Bielema's Recruiting Class
2022 - 36th ranked class / 15 commits / .8459 / 5 top-1000 recruits / 8th ranked B1G class


Tough for this to be an excellent comparison because the class isn't finished buuuut a couple observations.

- I really have a hard time believing that Bielema's # of top-1000 recruits is going to go down. Lower ranked guys could drop off but Laughery had plenty of P5 offers. I don't see it happening. On the other end, guys like Anderson + Whitenack + Hollins are really close to #1000. Also, coaching staff is likely going to commit some serious time at higher and higher ranked guys now that most of the class is into place. Two current commits going into the top-1000 and two future commits being top-1000. Is 9 enough? Does that number need to be 11-12 to feel better about this first class? We won't know for another 4+ years.
- 8th ranked B1G would be the best since 2015. Seven years. Could really use an average B1G class to start off his coaching staff's tenure. 8th ranked class is when you can start envisioning .500 in-conference seasons with decent player development.
- Looking more at Lovie's recruiting classes makes me respect his earlier work to build a better floor from roster talent. He changed directions in later years that brought in higher quality talent but less prep recruits while leaning on college transfers. It helped fill some roster gaps but also lead to him losing more and more steam on the traditional recruiting trail. Mixing that with a pessimistic future based on poor on-field performance lead to his downfall.
It's hard to compare B1G class rankings until the class is finished since it's so dependent on current # of commits. For example, Iowa is currently #14 but they will certainly pass us once they fill out the class.

We are currently the lowest ranked by average rating. We are closing the gap on Purdue, but don't see us finishing higher than #13.
 
#561      
Cincinnati, OH
Lovie's 2021 class was on pace to be one of the worst in all P5. Likely should be worked in somehow. It was historically bad

Because Lovie wasn't given the final three months to finalize his class. He might have brought in more grad transfers that would have moved his class up than Bielema didn't.
 
#562      
Cincinnati, OH
It's hard to compare B1G class rankings until the class is finished since it's so dependent on current # of commits. For example, Iowa is currently #14 but they will certainly pass us once they fill out the class.

We are currently the lowest ranked by average rating. We are closing the gap on Purdue, but don't see us finishing higher than #13.

Are we sure about this? They're missing on a lot of their Plan A recruits. Their commit numbers are lower because they aren't in a hurry for their backup plans. I would guess their current AVG score is going to be higher now than their final class will be in January.
 
#563      
Are we sure about this? They're missing on a lot of their Plan A recruits. Their commit numbers are lower because they aren't in a hurry for their backup plans. I would guess their current AVG score is going to be higher now than their final class will be in January.
Lol no I am not sure. Just speculation based on prior years results. What's their problem this year?
 
#564      
Because Lovie wasn't given the final three months to finalize his class. He might have brought in more grad transfers that would have moved his class up than Bielema didn't.
Yeah, I'm sure Lovie asked Miles to wake him after his hibernation so that they could really get busy 'cruitin, but I'm not sure Miles is very reliable. He sure as hell can't coach.

The drain was more than circling at that point, thankfully JW went ahead and hit "flush".
black and white photography GIF
 
#566      
Because Lovie wasn't given the final three months to finalize his class. He might have brought in more grad transfers that would have moved his class up than Bielema didn't.
I don't think grad transfers count in the recruiting rankings and with the early signing period just a couple days after he was fired (IIRC), I doubt he would have been able to make up any ground during the regular signing period, which has pretty much become a non-event.

- I really have a hard time believing that Bielema's # of top-1000 recruits is going to go down. Lower ranked guys could drop off but Laughery had plenty of P5 offers. I don't see it happening. On the other end, guys like Anderson + Whitenack + Hollins are really close to #1000. Also, coaching staff is likely going to commit some serious time at higher and higher ranked guys now that most of the class is into place. Two current commits going into the top-1000 and two future commits being top-1000. Is 9 enough? Does that number need to be 11-12 to feel better about this first class? We won't know for another 4+ years.
- 8th ranked B1G would be the best since 2015. Seven years. Could really use an average B1G class to start off his coaching staff's tenure. 8th ranked class is when you can start envisioning .500 in-conference seasons with decent player development.
For perspective, in the 2020 recruiting class, only Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers had fewer than 10 top-1000 recruits.

There is no way Illinois maintains a #8 ranking. The only reason that they are currently ranked that high is because they are tied for 4th place in the number of commits. I will be surprised if this class does better than 13th place when all said and done. Very disappointing for a first year, but we shall see.
 
#568      
I don't think grad transfers count in the recruiting rankings and with the early signing period just a couple days after he was fired (IIRC), I doubt he would have been able to make up any ground during the regular signing period, which has pretty much become a non-event.


For perspective, in the 2020 recruiting class, only Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers had fewer than 10 top-1000 recruits.

There is no way Illinois maintains a #8 ranking. The only reason that they are currently ranked that high is because they are tied for 4th place in the number of commits. I will be surprised if this class does better than 13th place when all said and done. Very disappointing for a first year, but we shall see.
Of course we all want highly (or at least higher) rated classes, I have far more confidence in this staff's ability to both identify and develop recruits into their system c/w anyone since....?

As has been previously stated, Bielema's calling card at Wisc wasn't highly ranked classes but winning games.

That said, I actually don't think this class is bad given the timing of the staff hires and weirdness of coming out of Covid. Prioritizing Illinois this year should set them up for greater successes moving forward
 
#569      
I don't think grad transfers count in the recruiting rankings and with the early signing period just a couple days after he was fired (IIRC), I doubt he would have been able to make up any ground during the regular signing period, which has pretty much become a non-event.


For perspective, in the 2020 recruiting class, only Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers had fewer than 10 top-1000 recruits.

There is no way Illinois maintains a #8 ranking. The only reason that they are currently ranked that high is because they are tied for 4th place in the number of commits. I will be surprised if this class does better than 13th place when all said and done. Very disappointing for a first year, but we shall see.
Very disappointing for a first year? What did you expect from a new staff in the middle of a pandemic that is not able to make traditional in-roads with recruits and coaches? I think they have done just fine getting commitments from many kids who had, on paper, better offers to more stable schools.
 
#570      
Very disappointing for a first year? What did you expect from a new staff in the middle of a pandemic that is not able to make traditional in-roads with recruits and coaches? I think they have done just fine getting commitments from many kids who had, on paper, better offers to more stable schools.
Further, we are still a program that hasn't produced a winning season in 10 years. If we start showing some results on the field, that will certainly boost our credibility and lead to better recruits. I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but I would agree with the sentiment that, at least at this point, it is not "disappointing". There is still a long way to go and from the looks of this staff, we have the potential to add some solid kids for 2022 and beyond....as long as the on-field results improve.
 
#571      
Cincinnati, OH
I don't think grad transfers count in the recruiting rankings and with the early signing period just a couple days after he was fired (IIRC), I doubt he would have been able to make up any ground during the regular signing period, which has pretty much become a non-event.


For perspective, in the 2020 recruiting class, only Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers had fewer than 10 top-1000 recruits.

There is no way Illinois maintains a #8 ranking. The only reason that they are currently ranked that high is because they are tied for 4th place in the number of commits. I will be surprised if this class does better than 13th place when all said and done. Very disappointing for a first year, but we shall see.

247 starting ranking transfers and calculating them as part of the recruiting classes as of the 2020 class. Bringing in 6-8 grad transfers would have given that class a boost. BB brought in some but saw more value in saving more for freshman recruits the following year because he has the job security to allow him to focus more on long-term roster building.

The last part could be the cold reality. We are feeling more optimistic because this class is in much better shape than the past two classes but is still trending behind Lovie's first class. What does that mean? Should we be happier that it's an improvement over recent classes? Or disappointed because of the ranking compared to past first recruiting classes?
 
#572      
Further, we are still a program that hasn't produced a winning season in 10 years. If we start showing some results on the field, that will certainly boost our credibility and lead to better recruits. I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but I would agree with the sentiment that, at least at this point, it is not "disappointing". There is still a long way to go and from the looks of this staff, we have the potential to add some solid kids for 2022 and beyond....as long as the on-field results improve.
I think I'll be disappointed with #13 any year regardless of context. I'm also someone who didn't buy into the whole "year zero" for Lovie thing. The results are what they are.

Before I get criticized too much: It does seem like things are trending well and I am optimistic for the future.
 
#573      
Further, we are still a program that hasn't produced a winning season in 10 years. If we start showing some results on the field, that will certainly boost our credibility and lead to better recruits. I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but I would agree with the sentiment that, at least at this point, it is not "disappointing". There is still a long way to go and from the looks of this staff, we have the potential to add some solid kids for 2022 and beyond....as long as the on-field results improve.
I think the new staff's recruiting results are as good as can be reasonably expected. I think the much more important task will be making the current squad competitive on the field this fall. If that happens, recruiting will take off.
 
#574      
247 starting ranking transfers and calculating them as part of the recruiting classes as of the 2020 class. Bringing in 6-8 grad transfers would have given that class a boost. BB brought in some but saw more value in saving more for freshman recruits the following year because he has the job security to allow him to focus more on long-term roster building.

The last part could be the cold reality. We are feeling more optimistic because this class is in much better shape than the past two classes but is still trending behind Lovie's first class. What does that mean? Should we be happier that it's an improvement over recent classes? Or disappointed because of the ranking compared to past first recruiting classes?
All in all I'm pretty happy with where we stand. I'd obviously prefer we recruit 4* and high 3* players like we did during Zook's first few years, but given the damage Lovie did to the brand, particularly in-state, that wasn't in the cards. BB's top priorities were to hire a good staff, put a good product on the field and repair in-state recruiting relationships; success there will lead to future recruiting success. How good the product will be remains to be seen, but he has done well in the other two areas.
 
#575      
Lol no I am not sure. Just speculation based on prior years results. What's their problem this year?
I went and found their football forum after Aidan committed, it was enjoyable. They were going as far as saying if continues like this Ferentz might retire in next year or two. They have supposedly lost most of their top targets. It sounds like Iowa St. has become a huge problem for them.