As we've gone over already, Tim Beckman and the Illini coaching staff plan to raid the juco ranks this year to fill some of the many holes on this roster and provide some much-needed depth. It's not the ideal method of building a football team, but it's one that has helped out many programs over the years.
How you doing over there, Kansas State?
Unfortunately for the Illini and Tim Beckman, it's not as easy for us to hit the juco ranks. Cuz we gotta be all smart and shit all the time.
"There's no program here that you can funnel JC kids too," Illinois recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh told Jeremy Werner. "Most schools do have those programs, where you can funnel JC kids to. There isn't (at Illinois). So the JC kids that we have to recruit have to have academics. Their academic standard has to be higher.
"If they're non-qualifiers in high school, they better have gotten it done their first two years at a junior college. I think you're recruiting a different kind of junior-college kid. You're recruiting a kid that has shown he can do it academically, on top of obviously playing at this level. So it makes it tougher.
"At some schools, you can go recruit the top-100 JC kids in the country. Here, you can recruit literally 15 of those kids academically, so it makes it tough."
Which, to be honest, really does hurt our chances with juco players. After all, there's a reason these kids are in junior college in the first place. Many of them have the football talent to play at the top programs in the country, it's just they aren't exactly stars in the classroom.
Illinois is far from an Ivy League school, but it still holds itself to high academic standards.
Which is unfortunate for the football team, and could prove to be damning for Beckman. He could certainly use an influx of juco players to help this team tread water while he attempts to build the program.