Where are the new Fighting Illini football players coming from? Which parts of the country have Illinois' coaches allocated resources to? Is Illinois attempting to create talent pipelines in California, Texas, or Florida?
We've created the following map to show exactly what Illinois' 2016 recruiting class looks like from a geographic perspective. As you'll see below, the program primarily focused their efforts on the Midwest, the Southeast, and the Northeast Coast.
2016 Illinois Football Recruiting Map
Note: We'll be updating this map with new commitments throughout National Signing Day
- Florida - 7*
- Illinois - 3*
- Texas - 3
- Georgia - 2
- Maryland - 2
- Missouri - 2
- Alabama - 1
- Arkansas - 1
- California - 1
- Michigan - 1
- Massachusetts - 1
- Pennsylvania - 1
- Virginia - 1
*The Illini actually have more verbal commitments from Florida (8) and Illinois (4), but there are two players that aren't expected to sign with the program on Wednesday.
So the obvious takeaway here is that, entering National Signing Day, Illinois had more verbal commitments from Florida natives than Illinois natives. That's absurd and you can bet we'll be addressing the program's woeful in-state recruiting in a future post. However, it makes sense that the 'Sunshine State' produced so many recruits because Illinois has traditionally focused significant resources on the area.
One other thing to note is that the Illini had some decent success along the East Coast. Illinois has had a relatively strong recruiting base the DC-metro area for quite awhile now, but could other factors (i.e. the additions of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten) be a positive influence? Probably not, but it helps justify the conference's decision to add the Scarlet Knights into the fold.