Thursday was a swell day for Illinois football. About an hour after landing three-star linebacker Trevor Moffitt the Fighting Illini inked their sixth transfer this offseason, getting a commitment from former Louisville safety TreSean Smith.
A native of Cincinnati, Smith committed to Louisville in 2017 over Penn State, Note Dame, Virginia Tech, and others. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound safety tallied 70 tackles in two years with the Cardinals. Smith’s talent is undeniable, but he does come with some baggage. He sat out the entire 2019 season due to suspension. As a redshirt junior, Smith will be eligible immediately and have two seasons left to play.
Smith is a quality addition to an experienced Illinois secondary. Starting corners Nate Hobbs & Tony Adams return for the Illini, and Marquez Beason is looking to make an impact after missing last year with a torn ACL. Safety Sydney Brown also comes back. Smith is a physically imposing safety who isn’t afraid to go for the big hit but can also match up in coverage and run with opposing receivers.
Brevyn Jones (Mississippi St.), Blake Jeresaty (Wofford), Brian Hightower (Miami), Desmond Dan (New Mexico St.), and Christian Bell (Wisconsin) have also transferred to Illinois since season’s end. The Orange & Blue certainly benefited from the portal last year — Brandon Peters, Wole Betiku, Josh Imatorbhebhe, Donny Navarro & Richie Petitbon were all major contributors who started their collegiate careers elsewhere.