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Illinois Football releases Week 1 Depth Chart for Murray State game

Here's how the Fighting Illini will open the Lovie Smith era.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois football is a mere five days away from opening kickoff against the Murray State Racers, and at long last we have the official depth chart for Lovie Smith's first game. While most of the roster shook up as expected during training camp, there were a few surprises, specifically on defense.

Redshirt-freshman Gabe Megginson has won a starting spot up front, and he'll be joined by Austin Schmidt, Joe Spencer, Nick Allegretti, and Christian DiLauro on the offensive line. Additionally Darta Lee is the only true-freshman to appear on the two-deep at this point in time.

The defense will feature two underclassmen starters this Fall in Tre Watson (SLB) and Julian Hylton (SS), with the latter being perhaps the most surprising announcement of the day. Elsewhere, I certainly wasn't expecting Caleb Day and Ahmari Hayes (fourth-string) to be appearing off the bench in the secondary.

The Fighting Illini also have a new kicker! Chase McLaughlin beat out returning starter David Reisner for the position.

You can check out the entire depth chart right here, but we've gone ahead and formatted the three-deep into the following tables for offense, defense, and special teams. Enjoy!

Offensive Depth Chart
QB Wes Lunt (SR) Chayce Crouch (R-SO) Jeff George Jr. (R-FR)
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn (SO) Reggie Corbin (R-FR) Kendrick Foster (R-JR)
FB Nate Echard (JR) Austin Roberts (SO)
WR1 Malik Turner (JR) Dionte Taylor (SR) Zach Grant (SR)
WR2 Justin Hardee (SR) Desmond Cain (SO) Sam Mays (SO)
TE Tyler White (SR) Andrew Davis (SR) OR Ainslie Johnson (SR) OR Caleb Reams (R-FR)
OT Austin Schimdt (SR) Connor Brennan (SR)
OG Gabe Megginson (R-FR) Jordan Fagan (JR)
C Joe Spencer (SR) Harry Black (JR)
OG Nick Allegretti (R-SO) Darta Lee (FR)
OT Christian DeLauro (R-JR) Adam Solomon (R-FR)
Defensive Depth Chart
DE1 Dawuane Smoot (SR) Henry McGrew (R-SO) -
DT1 Chunky Clements (SR) Jamal Milan (R-FR) -
DT2 Robert Bain (SR) Tito Odenigbo (R-SO) -
DE2 Carroll Phillips (SR) Gimel President (SR) -
WLB James Crawford (JR) Julian Jones (SO) -
MLB Hardy Nickerson Jr. (SR) Mike Svetina (SR) -
SLB Tre Watson (SO) Justice Williams (R-FR) -
CB1 Jaylen Dunlap (JR) Cameron Watkins (R-FR) -
CB2 Darius Mosley (SR) Chris James (JR) Frank Sumpter (R-FR)
FS Taylor Barton (SR) Patrick Nelson (R-FR) Dillan Cazley (SR)
SS Julian Hylton (SO) Caleb Day (SR) Darwyn Kelly (JR)
Nickel - - -
Specialists Depth Chart
K Chase McLaughlin (SO) David Reisner (SR)
P Ryan Frain (SR) David Reisner (SR)
H Ryan Frain (SR) OR Zach Grant (SR) -
LS Michael Martin (SR) Sean Mills (FR)
KR TBD -
PR TBD -