The Illini Have Five Letters Of Intent From Junior College Players

FEEL THE JUCO SIGNING DAY EXCITEMENT - USA TODAY Sports

HO-HO-HO, MERRY JUCOMAS

While the National Signing Day that everybody pays attention to -- the one that has actual television networks dedicating 24 hours to high school kids picking hats -- doesn't take place until February, but today is another important day in recruiting, particularly at Illinois this year.

It's Juco Signing Day. Happy Jucomas, everybody!

Today is the day where juco players large and small, nice and naughty fax in their letters of intent to schools to let them know "I want to play football for you!"

And today the Illini got five letters of intent from juco prospects. They are wide receiver Martize Barr, defensive tackle Abens Cajuste, defensive back Eric Finney, offensive lineman Dallas Hinkhouse and defensive back Zane Petty.

"We're extremely excited about these five young men and their families joining the Fighting Illini family," said Tim Beckman in the official release. "These men are coming to Champaign from winning programs around the country. There are two national champions and several conference champions in the group. The most exciting part is that they fill immediate needs for us. They all play a different position of need and are spread across all areas of the team. The fact that we were able to go throughout the country and sell Illinois football to these young men and their families shows the work ethic and commitment from our staff. We also are very grateful to everyone who helped us with this process."

Get to know those names -- and you can learn more about each of them in the official release here -- because odds are all five of them will see significant playing time in 2013, and will have a say in whether or not we actually win a Big Ten game. Remember the last time we did that?

I believe it was November of 1942.

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