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Assessing Illinois’ recent recruiting surge in Florida

The hire of Keynodo Hudson has paid dividends on the recruiting trail.

The Illini are on a recent hot streak on the recruiting trail having added ten commitments since May 1, 2020. The 2021 class is now 12 commitments strong with seven hailing from the Sunshine State:

  • S DD Snyder - Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL)

Recruited by: Keynodo Hudson

Schools Illinois beat out: Louisville, Washington State, Duke, Indiana, and NC State

Ranking: 1,444th nationally per the 247 composite; 214th in Florida

  • ATH Theodore Lockley - Mainland (Daytona Beach, FL)

Recruited by: Keynodo Hudson and Rod Smith

Schools Illinois beat out: Boston College, Kansas, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Liberty and Western Kentucky.

Ranking: 188th in Florida

  • WR Patrick Bryant - Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville, FL)

Recruited by: Andrew Hayes-Stoker

Schools Illinois beat out: Arkansas; Virginia Tech, Miami, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota

Ranking: 945th nationally per the 247 composite; 130th in Florida

  • DB Daniel Edwards - Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)

Recruited by: Keynodo Hudson

Schools Illinois beat out: Auburn, Louisville, Miami, and Purdue.

Ranking: 918th nationally per the 247 composite; 123rd in Florida

  • LB Trevor Moffitt - South Sumter (Bushnell, FL)

Recruited by: Miles Smith

Schools Illinois beat out: Colorado State; Connecticut, and Temple

Ranking: 208th in Florida

  • LB Dylan Rosiek - East Lake (Tarpon Springs, FL)

Recruited by: Miles Smith

Schools Illinois beat out: Colorado State, several Ivy Leagues and service academies

Ranking: 204th in Florida

  • LB Joriell Washington - Fort Myers (Fort Myers, FL)

Recruited by: Keynodo Hudson

Schools Illinois beat out: Boston College, Oregon, Iowa St, Florida Atlantic, and Southern Miss

Ranking: 168th in Florida


Who are the Illini beating on the recruiting trail for these commitments?

One way to asses the quality of a recruit, aside from recruiting ranking, is to look at the schools that also go after a particular recruit. This allows us determine where the Illini fall in the pecking order in a given area. Now, being realistic, no one expects Illinois to go into to Florida and directly beat the Big Three in the state (Florida, Florida State and Miami) or the national recruiting powers (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan, and Penn State). However, the Illini do want to make sure they’re beating out the second- and third-tier recruiting programs and not just battling Group of 5 schools for recruits. With these recruits, you see some some good offer lists and some that make you question whether these recruits belong in the Big Ten.

Commitments with promising offer lists:

A commitment like Daniel Edwards with an offer sheet that includes Miami, Louisville, Purdue and Auburn certainly gives you hope that the Illini are competing for the appropriate caliber of recruit. The same goes for Patrick Bryant who was also courted by Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Miami, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota among several others. We even see Oregon, a recruiting powerhouse on the West Coast, in pursuit of Joriell Washington.

Commitments with questionable offer lists:

The offer lists of the two linebackers Trevor Moffitt and Dylan Rosiek, however, raises questions as does the offer list from Theodore Lockley. Rosiek was offered by the several Ivy League schools, the three service academies (Navy, Air Force, and Army) and Colorado State. Moffit was offered by Connecticut, Colorado State, and Temple. Lockley holds offers from Boston College, Kansas, Rutgers, Temple, East Carolina, Liberty and Western Kentucky. The Illini probably see potential in these these recruits, but their offer lists make you wonder if they are Big Ten caliber players. Of course, any linebacker coming on campus in Champaign will get hands on development from Lovie Smith. So, we expect that these players will eventually contribute at a moderate to high level.


Keynodo Hudson brings Sunshine State chops to the Illini

The Illini’s primary connection to Florida is defensive backs coach Keynodo Hudson who played an active role in the recruitment of Theodore Lockley, Daniel Edwards, DD Snyder and Joriell Washington. Prior to joining the Illini in 2019, Hudson, a native of Tampa, Fla., was the defensive back coach at Florida Atlantic under head coach Lane Kiffin. Hudson also served as defensive coordinator for two years at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach.

When we look at some of the schools Hudson is beating on the recruiting trail, you understand the importance of the Illini keeping Hudson in Champaign as long as they can.