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Illinois WR Desmond Cain transfers to North Dakota State

Cain originally announced his departure back in December.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Former Illinois wide receiver Desmond Cain has found a new home. The sophomore pass catcher announced on Sunday night that he’ll be leaving Champaign to join the North Dakota State Bison. Cain originally announced his intent to leave the Fighting Illini back on December 1.

I would like to start off by thanking the University of Illinois, Tim Beckman, and Bill Cubit for giving me a shot at a great degree and allowing me to play for one of the greatest institutions. I would like to announce that I will be furthering my education and football career at North Dakota State for the next two years!

Cain, a Florida native, was recruited by former Illinois coaches Bill Cubit and Tim Banks out of high school. According to 247Sports, the three-star prospect had other Power 5 scholarship offers from Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia.

Cain had a surprising freshman season with the Fighting Illini, and he developed into a fairly reliable go-to option for Wes Lunt while recording 53 receptions for 492 yards and 1 touchdown.

Cain’s role shifted once Lovie Smith took over the program, however, and he only saw action in five games as a sophomore due to injury. The 5-foot-11 wideout logged just 5 receptions for 61 yards despite Illinois’ immense need for playmaking ability downfield.

The best game of Cain’s career came against No. 3 Ohio State in 2015, when he had a career-high 10 receptions for 102 yards.

Cain will have two seasons of eligibility remaining; he won’t be required to sit out the 2017 season because he’s making a jump down to the FCS level.