The Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver corps added some depth yesterday when that lanky kid from your high school announced his intention to transfer to Illinois. As a graduate student, he will be eligible this fall and will have two years of eligibility.
At 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds, that lanky kid projects as an outside guy in the mold of a Ricky Smalling. He impressed coaches with his large hands, long strides and ability to somehow return your cross-court tennis shots even though he was all the way over on the other side and it didn’t look like he was moving that fast.
“Three things jumped out at me when I first saw him play,” offensive coordinator Rod Smith said this morning. “He’s extremely lanky, the kind of guy that completely takes away left and center field in co-ed softball without even really trying. Two, he has a laid-back attitude that makes him just great in practice, even if he doesn’t say much. And three, you can’t ignore that huge, protruding Adam’s apple he’s got. That’s every coach’s dream, to have an athlete like that in your locker room.”
That lanky kid from your high school visited Illinois during his initial recruitment as a junior before eventually settling on Illinois State. He put up 72 yards on 10 catches as a high school freshman on junior varsity before dropping football to focus on cross-country. At ISU, he was a key part of two-time runner-up intramural volleyball team Harambe Mutombo. Though he’s often asked about his basketball experience, he insists that he has none and doesn’t know why people keep asking him that question.
The strength and conditioning staff intend to add some more bulk to his frame, but that may prove difficult as he has a history of eating whatever he wants and never gaining weight. Nevertheless, this is a solid pickup for an Illini receiving corps solely lacking in depth.
UPDATE (12:06 PM): That lanky kid from your high school has confirmed that he is no longer with the Illini football program.