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Linebacker Camilo Eifler commits to Illinois

Washington transfer linebacker adds much needed depth and playmaking ability for 2019

Twitter: @_miloeifler

Illinois might have just gotten quite the player with help from its defensive coordinator.

Camilo Eifler, once a four-star linebacker recruit from California, committed to Illinois on Monday and will be eligible for the 2019 season.

The Washington Huskies transfer cited the relationship with the coaching staff and the potential fit on the football field as his primary reasons for choosing Illinois. Eifler, who is 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, announced his intent to transfer in May.

According to The Seattle Times, Eifler was a third-string strongside linebacker for Washington last season.

Eifler played football at Bishop O'Dowd High School in the Oakland area, which just so happened to be where Hardy Nickerson was head coach from 2009-13.

It's the connection with Nickerson and Lovie Smith that seemed to sell Eifler on Illinois' rebuild — not to mention the fact that he'll be offered early playing time as soon as he steps on campus.

Illinois will graduate its best linebacker (Del'Shawn Phillips) and will have only two linebackers (presumably) with extensive experience in Dele Harding and Jake Hansen in 2019. Considering the injury history of those two, and the lack of experience behind them, Eifler could be immediately slotted in as an outside linebacker in Lovie's 4-3 scheme.

He offers tremendous potential, as well, coming with a hard-hitting pedigree and is just as comfortable dropping back in coverage as he is attacking the line of scrimmage on a blitz.

This is a great pickup, and it speaks to the tireless efforts of Smith and his staff to scour all corners to find quality Big Ten playmakers. That's exactly what Eifler can be for Illinois — a game changer.

Eifler becomes the eighth 2019 commit for Illinois, and, per NCAA regulations, will have to sit out the 2018 season before being eligible the next year.