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Tre Nation, MJ McGriff transferring from Illinois Football

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The two second year players were recruited by Bill Cubit, but they never played for the former head coach.

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

Two Fighting Illini football players have left the program. The team confirmed on Sunday that sophomore wide receiver Tre Nation and redshirt-freshman M.J. McGriff plan to transfer from the school and are no longer listed on the official roster page.

Nation, a former three-star prospect from Alabama, ran for 59 yards on 11 carries during Illinois’ first three games of the 2016 season. He did not appear in the final eight games.

McGriff has already informed Illini Inquirer that he plans to transfer to Akron. The 5-foot-8 Florida native was recruited heavily by the Zips out of high school, so that move makes sense from a relationship standpoint.

Both Nation and McGriff signed to play for former head coach Bill Cubit in February 2016. Obviously, Cubit was fired mere months after signing a two-year extension so the duo never had a chance to play for him.

These defections open up two more scholarships on Illinois’ roster. As it stands now, the 2018 recruiting class — which has five verbal commitments so far — can take up to 18 total players.