I'm impressed with this team and coaching staff considering the last 5 years the recruiting has been last or nearly last in the BIG. Always seemed that Lovie had an eye for underrated talent, and it appears he likely did. Unfortunately the coaching at multiple positions isn't what it is now. Hoping to see top 30 classes in the near future, which isn't unreasonable if we consistently win. We have been in the 50-60 range the last 5-6 years.
Last few classes for Lovie were in the high 60s to low 80s range. BB landed some recruits but had to add through the transfer portal to get more depth on the roster right away.
Illinois getting top 30 classes is attainable but really not necessary at all. We keep landing JUCO players that develop on the lines than we are fine. Quality recruits are necessary for long term success but it isn't often you have a huge number of freshman just start from day one. If you can get a number of them to play great, but for example line play it isn't often that a number of freshman are physically ready to play on the trenches. BB is hitting the trails hard trying to get more bodies in because it looks like we are going to lose some guys to the Draft if they keep up the current pace.
I haven't looked up numbers but am sure the SEC probably lands majority of schools in the top 30 of recruiting each year. SEC is a beast. Beyond that you have the usuals such as Clemson, Notre Dame, future SEC OU and Texas among others inside top 30 along with Ohio St and Michigan. Ton of talent available and BB recruits for his system. His classes are usually in the 30s-50s range. Illinois is more than fine if we stay consistent and add recruits this way along with adding JUCO players and some players through the transfer portal. Illinois just needs to keep reaching out to a ton of recruits each year. We might not land our wish list the first time but doesn't mean they can't have a change of heart before college or even after the first year of college. Hopefully Elzy is a great example of this real soon
The difference we know already is BB likes a good mix of players from all levels and he can develop talent and coach. Top 30 or better, top 40, top 50, etc I feel comfortable with and doesn't really matter much to me. I have been drinking his Kool-Aid for awhile now and a certain number is more to make the fanbase feel special than what cards BB is holding in his hand.