90i #90: Jesse Chadwell June 3, 2013
Yep. Time for The 90 Illini again. Or, as I’m calling it this year, 90i.
Each day, from now until the season opener against Southern Illinois, I count down the 90 most important players on the roster. No, this is not a joke. No, I do not do this sarcastically. Yes, I obsess over this list, changing it time and time again because it just doesn’t make sense that the walkon backup punter should be 77th while the freshman defensive tackle who might actually get to play is 78th. I truly believe that this is the most comprehensive list of Illini players and that it will prove to be stunningly accurate by the time the season rolls around. (It’s also the only list that ranks 90 Illini football players, but still, wildly comprehensive.)
I started doing this in 2009 because I found Bob Asmussen’s list of the 50 most important players to be lacking. It bothered me a little too much that he ranked a few of the freshmen too high. So that first year, this series was “Dear Bob You’re Doing It Wrong”. The next year I expanded to all of the scholarship players, and it’s kind of grown from there. So much so that now I believe it has earned branding status: 90i.
6′-5″, 260 lbs.
True Freshman (on scholarship, 5 years to play 5)
Clarkston High School / Clarkston, Michigan
What I Know About Him:
I know that this year’s 90i is going to be very difficult. Because this is the youngest Illini football team in a long time When you’re this young, almost every freshman has a chance to play early. There are probably only 10 entrenched starters on the entire team. So everyone has a chance.
Like Chadwell. When Tim Beckman arrived on campus he saw two parts of the roster that were extremely thin: defensive secondary and offensive tackles. So in the 2013 class, he went out and signed three tackles, Chadwell being one of them. All three enrolled early and participated in spring ball a few months ago. This usually gives these players a head start on maybe playing as a true freshman, but…
What I Expect From Him:
A redshirt. He looked pretty small this spring. Not in a bad way – just in a “freshman offensive tackle that needs 2-3 years in the weight room until he’s ready” way. He needs the freshman 15, and then the sophomore 20, and maybe hopefully the junior 25.
So look for him to redshirt. There’s probably a spot for one of the freshmen offensive tackles to maybe play, especially if Scott McDowell – slated to be one of the backups at tackle – takes longer than expected returning from his injury. But more than likely, with Corey Lewis and Simon Cvijanovic slated to start and Dallas Hinkhouse, Scott McDowell, and Pat Flavin fighting for the backup spots, Chadwell will redshirt.