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Syracuse commit Sharod Johnson is planning an official visit to Illinois Football

Good morning! Welcome to the Orange Minute for Thursday, August 11.

Photo Credit: Student Sports

It sounds like Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini may soon host a Syracuse commit on campus. Three-star wide receiver Sharod Johnson (FL) recently told 247Sports that he’s planning to take additional official visits to Illinois, Purdue, Central Florida, and Toledo. The Miami product is rated as the No. 1692 player in the country.

Johnson committed to the Orange on April 17; he had other offers from Temple, Middle Tennessee, and Florida Atlantic at the time. Illinois got involved shortly thereafter in early May, and the shifty wideout has since heard from the small handful of schools mentioned above.

I don’t think Johnson is necessarily at the top of Illinois’ priority list, but he’ll certainly be name to keep an eye on. While the Orange and Blue already have two commitments at the position from in-state standouts Ricky Smalling and Kendall Smith, there looks to be room on the roster for at least two more. Carmoni Green (FL) is the top current target, and the coaching staff has also been keeping tabs on several others including Jeff Thomas (IL) and Cartrell Smith (TX).

Sharod Johnson Highlights (Junior Season)

Illinois Fighting Illini Links

- Redshirt-freshman QB Jimmy Fitzgerald leaving Illinois Football (TCR)

Fitzgerald, a graduate of Champaign Centennial High Schoool, redshirted last season after tearing his ACL during his senior season. He was absent from the Illini’s training camp last week from what head coach Lovie Smith said were "personal reasons."

- Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 defense, explained (TCR)

With a Tampa 2 formation, you typically see two things: a lot of gang tackling and a high amount of energy. When it’s working correctly, the unit will concede short passes over the middle for minimal gains in order to take away deep passes.

- Illinois RB Reggie Corbin making up for lost time (The News-Gazette)

"He’s one of the guys that we have that has the ability to change the field and create explosive plays," McGee said. "That’s his role. He’s like a sixth man in basketball that gets in the game and scores a quick 14 points to get your team back in the game.’

- Illini Volleyball ranked No. 14 in AVCA Preseason Poll (Illinois Athletics)

The Big Ten has a total of seven members ranked in the top 25, including four of the top 10, with Penn State coming in at No. 9, followed by No. 14 Illinois, No. 15 Ohio State and No. 20 Purdue. Additionally, Michigan State and Michigan are receiving votes.