Josh Imatorbhebhe has signed with a team we call Illinois South, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Imatorbhebhe went undrafted during the 2021 NFL Draft, but will get a chance to catch balls from No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and be coached by former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Imatorbhebhe started 18 games in his two seasons in Champaign, snaring 55 catches for 931 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com views Bhebhe as a future backup/special teamer and had plenty to say in his evaluation:
With an impressive frame and elite testing numbers, it is becoming more likely that a team will be willing to overlook the underdeveloped aspects of Imatorbhebhe’s game in hopes of cashing in a jackpot if it can unlock enough skill to go with the traits ... He has foot quickness and strength to work around press and can be a handful when it turns into a pure 50/50 battle. He is the most explosive leaper coming out of the college game that I’ve ever seen. Imatorbhebhe improved from 2019 to 2020, but there is no guarantee he can become more than just an explosive athlete. However, a team will gladly spend a Day 3 pick on this high-ceiling, low-floor prospect.
If he was drafted, Imatorbhebhe would have been the first Illinois receiver selected since A.J. Jenkins was a first-round pick in 2012. Teammates Kendrick Green (3rd round, 87th overall) and Nate Hobbs (5th round, 167th overall) also heard their names called this weekend.
What any team would have gotten with Bhebhe is a freak athlete. Just a monster. At Illinois’ Pro Day in March, he had a 46.5-inch vertical jump, which would have set the NFL Combine record. He also clocked a 4.48 40-yard dash and recorded 24 reps on bench press.
But Bhebhe quickly became a fan favorite in Champaign via his positive attitude and voice, especially in the wake of Illinois’ massive upset of Wisconsin in 2019, when the wideout called it the best game he had been a part of, or when he caught the “Fourth-and-Bhebhe” ball at Michigan State, a game Illinois came back from down 28-3 to clinch a bowl berth.
It was no shock Imatorbhebhe wasn’t going to return to Champaign for a third season, and nobody is blaming him for heading to the league. Now, it’s time for him to go catch some balls.