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Looking for immediate OT help, Illinois delves into JUCO ranks

In steps one of junior college’s best.

Illinois Athletics

Offensive tackle Isaiah Adams is a 3-star prospect and is a native of Canada, but will enroll via way of Garden City, Kansas Community College. He is one of seven offensive linemen in the 2022 recruiting class and will have two years of eligibility. According to his prospect profile, he was recruited by offensive line coach Bart Miller.

Isaiah Adams comes in at 6-foot-6 and weighing 325 pounds. He is most comparable to current offensive lineman Zach Barlev. Both players are agile, well coached, and can play multiple positions along the offensive line. The biggest difference between the two is Adams is more physically developed after spending time at a junior college and will arrive immediately ready to contribute.

Adams is unusually agile for a lineman his size. He flashes quick feet and demonstrates the ability to pull and get to the second level. Once attached to the defender, Adams continues to drive his man until the play is over. He has the ability to play anywhere on the offensive line, but is being brought in to provide immediate help at one of the tackle spots.

According to Rivals, Adams collected a total of 24 offers. Some notable schools that vied for Adams’ services included Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Syracuse, Texas Tech and West Virginia. He finished the year rated as a 5.6, 3-star, 5th-best JUCO OT, and 25th-best JUCO prospect overall.

Going into 2022, there is a lack of experience at the offensive tackle positions. The staff was looking for a more mature, physically developed offensive tackle that could enroll early and be plugged in to immediately help. Adams fits that description. Often JUCO offensive linemen can be hit or miss, but it’s likely Illinois found a good one in Adams and will be counting on him to provide quality minutes as the younger tackles on the roster continue to develop.