Three-star safety Lyndarious Strange (Tallahassee, FL) has included Illinois football in his latest list of 12 schools. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound prospect is the No. 991 overall player in 247Sports' class-of-2017 composite rankings. He originally picked up his Illini offer from the Bill Cubit regime, but Lovie Smith and his staff have maintained that relationship since taking over.
Louisville, Memphis, Syracuse, Iowa State, Indiana, Oregon State, Navy, Western Kentucky, Troy, Temple, and Louisiana-Lafayette also made this first cut for Strange.
Thanks to all the schools that gave me a chance to further my education and football career! Here's the top 12 pic.twitter.com/m95uXbHiH2— @iam_IV (@LyndariousS) June 3, 2016
Strange boasts a total of 22 scholarship offers. Miami (FL) is the most notable of those to be excluded from this list, but the Florida native made it clear that the Hurricanes still have a chance.
Scouting Report (via Scout.com)
Possessing prototypical size and length for the safety position at nearly 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Strange is a rangy prospect that covers a significant amount of ground in the back end. He's fairly flexible and quick in his back pedal for a defensive back of his stature, but closing speed is an area of improvement heading into his senior campaign. This lanky native has decent ball skills, and is an ideal fit for the free safety position as well.
Strengths: Ball Skills, Change of Direction, Frame, Hip Flexibility, Size
Weaknesses: Blitzing Ability, Closing Speed, Tackling Ability
2017 Illinois Football Recruiting Class
Illinois' latest recruiting class currently sits at No. 65 in the nation and No. 11 in the Big Ten despite having only four verbal commitments. That's not completely terrible when you consider how far behind the new coaching staff was a few months ago. Luckily, this is a huge month for the program so their results should start improving relatively soon.
As you've probably noticed, the Illini aren't having issues finding players on the offensive side of the ball. But going forward they need to start landing some defensive prospects that fit Smith's scheme. The defense will likely be taking huge steps backward from a talent perspective in the coming years, so finding some depth to limit that damage in the short-term is a huge priority.