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Illinois adds big-time defensive back in portal

Demetrius Hill was catching eyeballs as a freshman.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Bret Bielema is replenishing Illinois’ secondary.

After a historic showing in the NFL Draft — with three DBs taken in the first three rounds — the Illini added one of the best-remaining defensive backs in the transfer portal.

Demetrius Hill announced his commitment Sunday in a Mother’s Day tweet. 247 reported he was on campus this weekend for a visit.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Hill was named to the FWAA Freshman All-American Team after his 2022 campaign with Florida International, which included 95 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Hill visited Virginia Tech earlier in May.

With three years left of eligibility — and already some other depth in the secondary — it’s not a done deal that Hill plays a ton this season as a sophomore, and he likely won’t start. But, hey, always better to have ‘em than not.