Fighting Illini football will be hosting a pretty interesting guest on Saturday. According to Scout’s Allen Trieu, former Michigan State defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr. is set to take an unofficial visit to Champaign for the Western Michigan game. The 6-foot-2, 293-pound lineman is currently enrolled at Butler County Community College; the redshirt-sophomore will have two years of eligibility upon returning to the Division-I ranks.
Smith announced his departure from Michigan State on August 31 with the following message from his Twitter account. The former three-star recruit committed to the Spartans in 2013 over other offers from Tennessee, Arizona, Notre Dame, and N.C. State.
"Thank you Spartan Nation!
I want to thank Michigan State University of accepting me with open arms on April 20, 2013. Ever since then I have made it my duty to uphold what it means to be a "Spartan." I have enjoyed my time spent here, but my time here has come to an end. I want to thank Coach Mark Dantonio, Pat Narduzzi, Dan Roushar, and Ron Burton for recruiting me and offering me a scholarship to attend an amazing institution, such as MSU. Thank you to the fans that have supported me, even before I stepped foot on campus. Spartan Nation has made a tremendous impact on my life and my family’s too. God has a plan for me and I am excited for the future. I am more than confident that the team has what it takes to accomplish their goals of going back-to-back.
I thank you and love you Spartan Nation! Go Green!"
Illinois seems to be a great fit on paper because the defensive line is expected to lose several key contributors next offseason. Dawuane Smoot, Chunky Clements, Robert Bain, Carroll Phillips, and Gimel President are all on track to graduate, setting up redshirt-freshman Jamal Milan as perhaps the best returning option. So adding a Big Ten-quality player like Smith to the mix could be a huge boost.