Inventory + Recruiting Breakdown = Updated WANT list May 29, 2012
It’s all math. Just compile lists and then cross reference with other lists and then cross things off of lists and then see what you’re left with. That’s my plan for today.
A few weeks ago I put together this inventory of our roster (in two parts). Who do we have at each position, who do we have coming in for the fall, what are our future needs? That led to this summation…
OK, so the whole series, summed up in one sentence: We’re set at QB, need some tailbacks to add depth, just fine at tight end, desperate for a few receivers to step forward, extremely young at offensive tackle, deep at center/guard, hopeful for the young guys at DE, wait-and-see after the seniors leave at DT, surprisingly deep at linebacker, stunningly thin at corner, and not-much-better at safety.
I’m guessing we’ll add 20 or 21 players in this recruiting class (I believe we have 17 open scholarships next year, plus there’s always some attrition and recruits who don’t qualify, so I’m guessing 20 or 21). So if I take the sentence above and break it into positions, I’d say our 2013 recruiting class should look something like this:
Now let’s add the players who have already committed…
1 QB (Aaron Bailey yay yay super awesome yay)
2 RB (Kendrick Foster)
4 OT (Jesse Chadwell, Christian DiLauro, Austin Schmidt)
2 DE (Jarrod Clements)
2 DT (Merrick Jackson, Kenton Gibbs)
3 CB (Dillan Cazley, Reon Dawson)
Using the wonders of math, let us now reduce that list to the remaining needs:
OK, so here’s the last WANT list I put together a month ago today:
1. DB Darius Mosley (O’Fallon HS): Corner/safety with quicks. Would play early.
2. WR Kwamane Bowens (Virginia Beach Salem HS): Big WR from Chris Beatty land.
3. DE Josh Augusta (Peoria Central HS): Michigan/Oklahoma/Notre Dame offers. We need DE’s – he’d be perfect.
4. DT Kenton Gibbs (Detroit Cass Tech HS): Big DT from a football factory.
5. RB Taquon Mizzell (Virginia Beach Bayside HS): Bayside HS? Is AC Slater the coach? Another Beatty target – this kid has offers from everywhere.
6. LB Eric Beisel (Fenton, MO Summit HS): Our MLB of the future if he picks Illinois.
7. OT Jack Keeler (Barrington HS): We’ve missed on a lot of the in-state tackles already, and we’ll likely miss on Pocic, but Keeler would be a great consolation prize.
8. CB Jalen Banks (Harvey Thornton HS): We need 3 or 4 corners in this class. Mosley-Banks-Cazley would be a fantastic pairing.
9. DT Merrick Jackson (Belleville Althoff HS): Would love a mammoth nose guard in this class – Jackson would be perfect.
10. WR Shelton Gibson (Cleveland Heights HS): I can dream, can’t I? Probably down to Ohio State and Auburn, but Beckman has connections in Cleveland.
Which leads us to the current WANT list. I need to make some changes to that list (Jack Keeler verballed to Wisconsin, Gibbs and Jackson verballed to us, etc.), and I’m also a bit emboldened by the way this class has been shaping up, so I’m thinking I’ll get a little crazy and list a few no-chance-they-pick-us recruits just for fun. Scout currently has our class at #22 nationally, which is pretty much exactly where we need to be at this point. It will take four more 4-stars to keep us ranked that high, so hey, howzabout a WANT list with several 4-stars.
Here we go. The 10 players I WANT to finish off the 2013 recruiting class. Filling each of the 10 needs listed above, in order of WANT.
1. WR Laquon Treadwell (Crete-Monee HS): I know, totally dreaming. 12% chance he picks Illinois. He has offers from everyone, and will likely go to an Oklahoma or a Michigan, not an Illinois. Still, he visited in January, he tweeted “Bailey to Treadwell for the touchdown” after Aaron Bailey picked Illinois, and, well, I’ll never not dream about a top-5 wide receiver from Illinois picking Illinois.
2. CB Darius Mosley (O’Fallon HS): I just love this kid on film. And so do other scouting services. ESPN has him as a 4-star (grade of 82), Rivals has him as the #25 cornerback, and Scout has him at #34. He could be a corner, a safety, or maybe even a Brandon Lloyd-like arrive-as-a-DB-but-start-at-WR-as-a-freshman.
3. WR Kwamane Bowens (Virginia Beach Salem HS): For such a big position of need, our WR prospects right now are mighty thin. That’s why I’m putting Bowens #3. We’d have to beat out the usual suspects for Hampton Roads kids (Virginia Tech, West Virginia, etc.), but with a new coaching staff installing a new offense and offering immediate playing time, perhaps we can pull this kid west.
4. DE Josh Augusta (Peoria Central HS): He really should be #1 on this list. Big, fast athlete who could be Mercilus II under Coach Gilmore. Has offers from Michigan and Notre Dame and Oklahoma and Nebraska, but every Peoria kid should come to Illinois. Because they just should.
5. RB Taquon Mizzell (Virginia Beach Bayside HS): Like Treadwell, this is like a 12% chance. The only reason I’m listing him here is because he’s from the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, and Chris Beatty is very well plugged in there. If he could pluck Bowens and Mizzell from there, I’d weep tears of joy. But, again, 12% chance. In case you didn’t catch that, 12%.
6. LB Eric Beisel (Fenton, MO Summit HS): As described in the Inventory series, we’re pretty deep in the future at linebacker. Bates will start as a sophomore this fall, and behind him and BadNewsBrown are Zeph Grimes, Henry Dickinson, and Ralph Cooper. Plus TJ Neal, Mason Monheim, and Mike Svetina arrive this fall. And we have TaJarvis Fuller and others at the star linebacker position. All of that to say we probably only need one linebacker in this class. And I hope it’s Beisel.
7. OT Kyle Meadows (Lakota West HS, Ohio): In 10 years, our 2013 recruiting class will likely be remembered for the fact that the state of Illinois had its best class of offensive tackles in history… and we didn’t get any of them. Kyle Bosch to Michigan, Colin McGovern to Notre Dame, Logan Tuley-Tillman to Michigan, Jack Keeler to Wisconsin, and now Ethan Pocic to LSU. o for 5. So now, my goal is to write a “The 2- and 3-star offensive tackles we pulled from Ohio, like DiLauro and Schmidt and Meadows, were all better than the 4- and 5-star recruits from Illinois” article in 5 years. It’s a working title.
8. S Jalen Banks (Harvey Thornton HS): OK, I’ll admit it. The last time I made one of these lists I listed Banks as a cornerback, and now that I needed a second safety to match my list from above, I simply switched the “CB” to “S”. But hey, he looks pretty solid at safety in this video, so who am I to say he can’t play safety at 5′-11″?
9. OG/C Matt Miller (Perrysburg St. John HS, Ohio): Say it with me: when in doubt, go with the Ohio recruit. I searched ESPN’s database of Illini offers and picked the kid from Ohio. I want to say I saw some film of this kid earlier this spring and we might have been looking at him as a defensive tackle. Whichever – just give me big strong Ohio interior linemen.
10. S Solomon Warfield (Cleveland St. Edward HS): I kinda did the same thing here. I needed another safety, so I looked across a list of all of the safeties we’ve offered and picked Warfield, mostly because he’s from Ohio. More specifically, Cleveland. And nearly every recruit we closed on late last year was from Cleveland. So, Warfield it is. Now, off to find out who this kid is…