Tonight in Atlanta Michigan and Louisville will play for a basketball national championship. So, with that in mind, doesn't this seem like the perfect time to take a look at a possible depth chart for Illinois football?
Yeah, well, we're going to do it anyway. Or, to be more specific, we're going to take a look at the depth chart estimation of Robert over at A Lion Eye. He's the one who has been watching practices. Now, it's important to point out that this is not the official depth chart, it's just the best estimation of Robert based on what he's seen.
QB: Nathan Scheelhaase (SR) / Reilly O'Toole (JR) / Aaron Bailey (FR)
RB: Donovonn Young (JR) / Josh Ferguson (SO) / Dami Ayoola (SO)
TE: Jon Davis (JR) / Evan Wilson (SR) / Matt LaCosse (JR)
LT: Simon Cvijanovic (JR) / Scott McDowell (rs-SO) / Austin Schmidt (FR)
LG: Michael Heitz (JR) / Joseph Spencer (rs-FR) / Chris Boles (rs-SO)
C: Alex Hill (JR) / Tony Durkin (rs-SO) / Jake Feldmeyer (SR)
RG: Teddy Karras (rs-SO) / Chris O'Connor (rs-SO) / Jake Feldmeyer (SR)
RT: Corey Lewis (rs-SR) / Dallas Hinkhouse (JR) / Pat Flavin (rs-SO)
WR1: Martize Barr (JR) / Justin Hardee (SO) / Devin Church (rs-FR)
WR2: Spencer Harris (SR) / Miles Osei (SR) / Peter Bonahoom (rs-SO walkon)
WR3: Ryan Lankford (SR) / Darius Millines (SR) / Steve Hull (SR)
Leo: Houston Bates (JR) / Darrius Caldwell (rs-SO) / Dejazz Woods (JR)
DT: Austin Teitsma (JR) / Teko Powell (rs-SO) / Abe Cajuste (JR)
NG: Jake Howe (JR) / Vontrell Williams (rs-FR) / Robbie Bain (rs-FR)
DE: Tim Kynard (SR) / Kenny Nelson (rs-SO) / Paul James III (FR)
WLB: Jonathan Brown (SR) / Mike Svetina (SO) / Zeph Grimes (rs-SO)
MLB: Mason Monheim (SO) / TJ Neal (rs-FR) / Henry Dickinson (rs-SO)
Star: Eric Finney (JR) / BJ Bello (rs-FR) / Darwyn Kelly (FR)
CB: Eaton Spence (rs-SO) / Jevaris Little (rs-FR) / Dillan Cazley (FR)
SS: Earnest Thomas (JR) / Taylor Barton (rs-FR) / Nick North (rs-SO)
FS: Ben Mathis (SR) / Zane Petty (JR) / Caleb Day (FR)
CB: V'Angelo Bentley (SO) / Darius Mosely (FR) / Jeremey Whitlow (rs-SO)
Nothing really out of the ordinary here, though I do think that Darius Millines will be a starter again when he comes off his suspension.
What really sticks out is how young this team is, not that it wasn't known before. But breaking down Robert's depth chart, of the 22 starters on offense and defense 18 are seniors and juniors. That's fine. That's normal. But look at the depth behind them.
Of the 44 players listed second or third at their position, 32 are sophomores or freshmen. And where the youth really stands out is on defense, where 19 of the 22 backups are freshmen or sophomores.
All of which could bode well for the future of the program, but could prove to be a problem in the 2013 season.