Illinois needs a lot of work this offseason, but the Illini added one of their first additions in the portal on Saturday afternoon.
Defensive lineman Clay Patterson announced his commitment to Illinois after five years at Yale (four seasons — the Ivy League didn’t play in 2020 due to the pandemic).
Patterson’s best season came in 2021, when he had 44 tackles and 11.5 sacks. This season, he had 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 10 games for the Bulldogs.
The Illini will have several replacements on the D-line with the departures of Keith Randolph and Johnny Newton, plus the potential departure of Seth Coleman.
Patterson is 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds. He will have one year of eligibility remaining, and is from Frisco, Texas.