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Illinois safety Patrick Nelson will transfer

Nelson is the fourth Illini to transfer in 24 hours.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Another Illini football player is transferring, according to the Illini Inquirer.

Patrick Nelson, who just finished his redshirt sophomore season, will transfer from the program after two years as a key member of Hardy Nickerson’s defense.

The safety started eight games this season and appeared in 10. Nelson had 65 tackles, including 32 solo tackles. He also had two forced fumbles.

Nelson is the third Illini to transfer since Monday night. Linebacker Tre Watson and offensive lineman Gabe Megginson both announced their transfers via Twitter. A walk-on punter also announced he is transferring on Monday.

Illinois went 2-10 this season, including 10 consecutive losses after a 2-0 start. With so many freshmen getting playing time and another young team in 2018, it’s no shock that someone like Nelson will look for opportunities to be part of a winning program for his final two seasons.