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Illinois WR Desmond Cain announces intent to transfer following sophomore season

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Cain posted an announcement to his Twitter account on Thursday.

Ohio State v Illinois Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Illinois football’s offseason officially began after their loss to Northwestern last Saturday, meaning transfer season is on the horizon. It appears the program has already suffered the first of what could be a few departures, as sophomore wideout Desmond Cain made the following announcement via Twitter.

Statement from Desmond Cain:

"After talking it over with my family it's best to move closer home to finish off my next few years in college! Thank you Illini! Has been amazing these two years I've been here and thank you all for the major support GO ILLINI!"

Cain, a Florida native, was once a three-star prospect that was recruited by former Illinois coaches Bill Cubit and Tim Banks. According to 247Sports, he had other Power 5 scholarship offers from Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia.

Cain burst onto the scene during his freshman by totaling 53 receptions for 492 yards and 1 touchdown. Unfortunately, his role shifted once Lovie Smith took over the program and he only saw action in five games this season (5 receptions for 61 yards) despite Illinois’ huge need for playmakers on the outside.

Once Cain transfers to a new school, he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2017 season.