Now that signing day has come and gone, it's time to start looking forward to the next recruiting class. Is it creepy to pay this much attention to a bunch of juniors in high school? Completely. Am I going to do so anyways? You bet your orange and blue ass I will.
Rivals has released their top 100 list for next year and I decided to spend my lunch break looking through to see what top prospects were thinking of becoming Illini. First thing I noticed? There are three players from Illinois on that list: #53 Clifton Garret (LB-Plainfield South), #70 Nyles Morgan (LB-Crete Monee), and #94 Jamarco Jones (OL-De La Salle). All three have received offers from Illinois, but have also been courted by schools like Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame. Tim Beckman's work is cut out for him, but if he can keep at least two of the three from going elsewhere the 2014 class could be a very strong one.
And just so you don't have to go through and click on 90 or so odd names to see which players have listed even a medium level of interest in Illinois, here's the full list. If there is a ^ next to their name, that means we've offered. Obviously a lot of this is subject to change and more names will receive offers as we go, seeing as it is only February. But I'm bored.
#13 Tony Brown^ (CB-Beaumont, TX)
#19 Braden Smith (OT-Olathe, KS)
#27 Jalen Tabor^ (CB-Washington D.C.)
#30 Jalyn Holmes^ (DE-Norfolk, VA)
#37 Derrick Nnadi^ (DT-Virginia Beach, VA)
#41 Marshon Lattimore^ (ATH-Cleveland, OH)
#47 Montae Nicholson^ (ATH-Monroeville, PA)
#53 Clifton Garrett^ (LB-Joliet, IL)
#65 Caleb Henderson^ (Pro-style QB-Burke, VA)
#70 Nyles Morgan^ (LB-Crete, IL)
#89 Steven Moss^ (OT-Fredericksburg, VA)
#94 Jamarco Jones^ (OT-Chicago, IL)
#99 Dante Booker^ (ILB-Akron, OH)
It's a strong list to be sure, so it would be pretty damn nice if more than one or two decided to come to Champaign.