Even without defensive line coach Mike Phair with Illinois football in 2018, the Illini’s strong suit is on the line.
Three-star DE Ezekiel Holmes will only add to that depth.
Holmes signed with Illinois during National Signing Day on Wednesday.
A late riser who had a huge senior year at Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, Holmes finally started receiving some attention late in the recruiting cycle. Now he’s the newest member of Lovie Smith’s 2018 class.
Barring something extreme on the defensive line, Holmes will have time to develop his slight 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame and may not be a major contributor for Illinois for one to two years.
Holmes committed to Illinois on Sunday, announcing his commitment via a tweet, the same day he announced he received an offer from the University.
Holmes also had offers from Washington State and Air Force. He was recruited by Illinois wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker as well as Smith.
Also a basketball player, Holmes’ athleticism should have Illini fans exciting, joining Bennett Williams and Isaiah Gay as relatively unknown recruits who were able to make an impact for Illinois in 2017.
Below is Holmes’ senior highlight reel.
Holmes joins five other Illini signees in the 2018 class hailing from Texas, including four-star lineman Calvin Avery.