Name: Aaron Bailey
Hometown: Bolingbrook, IL
Stars: Rivals 4, 247Sports 4, ESPN 4
In recent weeks with a few players defecting from the 2013 Illinois class, I was upset by some and pretty indifferent about others, but at the end of the day there was only one defection that would have really ruined this class for me. That would have been Aaron Bailey.
Thankfully Bailey never wavered in his decision to come to Illinois, and that's a good thing because in a class with some pretty good talent -- and roster depth -- Bailey has always been the most important part of Tim Beckman's first actual class. He's the kind of player that can help turn this program around, both for his talent on the field and in the fact that he was one of the top players in the state and he decided to stay home with the Illini.
Bailey missed the vast majority of the 2012 season with a knee injury -- which is not a factor, so don't worry about it -- but finished his sophomore and junior seasons with a total of 4,672 all-purpose yards and 62 total touchdowns. Certainly the kind of production the worst offense in the Big Ten last season can use.
There's a chance we won't have to wait very long to see what Aaron Bailey can do, either.
While Tim Beckman certainly isn't going to make a decision today, he did say that Bailey will have a chance to compete for a job in 2013. Now whether or not that actually means Bailey can unseat Nathan Scheelhaase remains to be seen, though Beckman did say that Bailey would fit well into Bill Cubit's offense.