2016 Illinois Football Recruiting Class Breakdown

    2016 Illinois Football Recruiting Class: It’s not one of the Big Ten’s better classes, but it’s among the biggest. Illinois is going for strength in numbers – it’s going with bulk prospects hoping a few will hit.

    February 1, 2016


    2016 Illinois Football Recruiting Class: It’s not one of the Big Ten’s better classes, but it’s among the biggest. Illinois is going for strength in numbers – it’s going with bulk prospects hoping a few will hit.


    Follow, or just provide your love to @PeteFiutak 

    Illinois Football Recruiting Class Overview

    It’s not the class it was last year in terms of talent, but the Illini is bringing in more bodies and a bigger haul of prospects. There aren’t the four-start types to make a sure-thing difference, but head coach Bill Cubit got a good all-around class to fill several spots. The question will be whether or not Cubit is around in a few years to see this group mature.

    The Class Is Heavy On …

    Offensive linemen. It’s a big class overall, and while the stars aren’t on the O line, that’s where the bulk is. The Illini signed a strong tackle in Jake Cerny, a pass protector with the potential to work on the left side, while Kurt Gavin and Eddy Fish are two good blockers for the outside, too. The guards aren’t as good, but the coaching staff it trying to beef up the interior, too.

    The Star of the Class Is …

    LB Dele Harding, 6-1, 230 – With good bulk and pass rushing potential, he’s a straight-forward defender who will be used as a sort of hybrid on the outside. Michigan originally had him, and USC and Tennessee each wanted him, but he turned into the key to the Illini back seven – at least for this recruiting class.

    The Team’s Biggest 2016 Depth Chart Hole Is …

    The secondary. The offense could use an upgrade in receiver depth and another running back to replace Josh Ferguson, and the defense needs to replace Jihad Ward in the middle of the line and Mason Monheim at outside linebacker. The big loss is in the secondary with three starters gone including safety Clayton Fejedelem and corner V’Angelo Bentley. Until this group comes together, the pass rush has to be great.

    2016 Illinois Football Recruiting Class

    Christion Abercrombie LB 6-2 220 Atlanta, Ga. / Westlake
    Jake Cerny OL 6-5 295 Traverse City, Mich. / Traverse City West
    Harvey Clayton Jr. DB 6-2 190 Miami, Fla. / Coral Reef
    Trenard Davis DB 6-0 195 Boynton Beach, Fla. / American Heritage
    Eddy Fish OL 6-6 295 Groton, Mass. / Lawrence Academy
    Kurt Gavin OL 6-4 290 Mokena, Ill. / Lincoln-Way East
    Stanley Green DB 5-11 195 East St. Louis, Ill. / East St. Louis Senior
    Jake Hansen LB 6-2 220 Tarpon Springs, Fla. / East Lake
    Dele Harding LB 6-1 230 Elkton, Md. / Eastern Christian
    Ahmari Hayes DB 6-3 185 Davis, Calif. / Davis HS / College of San Mateo
    Zarrian Holcombe TE 6-6 220 Houston, Texas / Summer Creek
    Kenyon Jackson DL 6-0 290 Little Rock, Ark. / Parkview Arts & Science Magnet
    Brandon Jones DL 6-5 235 Columbia, Mo. / Hickman
    Evan Jones DB 6-2 185 Conyers, Ga. / Salem
    Darta Lee OL 6-3 300 Fresno, Texas / Hightower
    James McCourt K 6-1 185 Parkland, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas
    M.J. McGriff WR 5-9 175 Vero Beach, Fla. / Vero Beach
    Tre Nation RB 5-11 220 Leeds, Ala. / Leeds
    Tymir Oliver DL 6-4 280 Sharon Hill, Pa. / West Philadelphia Catholic
    Griffin Palmer TE 6-5 220 St. Charles, Mo. / De Smet Jesuit
    Eli Peters QB 6-3 210 Jacksonville, Fla. / Sandalwood
    Izon Pulley (EYE-zahn) DL 6-4 250 Olney, MD / Good Counsel
    Ayo Shogbonyo (EYE-oh) LB 6-2 205 Arlington, Tex. / Mansfield Summitt
    Dominic Thieman WR 6-3 190 Wilton Manors, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas
    Andrew Trainer TE 6-7 245 Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes

    MORE: Ranking No. 1 Recruiting Classes Since 2002

    DOWNLOAD THE APP

    Have the full Stadium experience

    Watch with friends

    Get rewards

    Join the discussion