Tom Lemming has heard the calls for Tim Beckman's ouster. After one season at Illinois.
The CBS Sports Network college football recruiting expert, however, doesn't believe the right way to help Illinois recruit is by letting Beckman go.
"It's been unfair to Beckman," Lemming said. "He's only been there one year and people are already on his case. It takes four years to build a program. The reason they fired Ron Zook is he wasn't getting the job done at Illinois and recruiting-wise. When that's the case, it takes about four years to develop that back. If you want to keep pulling the trigger on firing coaches, they're going to keep having this perpetual rebuilding. At Ohio State, Jim Tressel gets fired and there's still talent there, but that doesn't happen at many places."
Even with the 2-10 season Illinois put together in 2012, Lemming said the upcoming Class of 2013 Illinois has assembled is "very good."
"Considering the season they had, it's an outstanding group," he said. "I knew they were going to recruit well. He's an aggressive, personable guy, and he's got a staff that is that way, too. It's a very athletic class, and that's what they needed. They needed to get more athletic. They've just got to hang on to their players."
Lemming said the loss of former offensive line coach Luke Butkus might affect recruiting in the Chicagoland area.
"I was impressed with his recruiting," Lemming said of Butkus. "He would go at it, and he was a real hard worker. Plus, he has that name Butkus, which is magic on the South Side and the south suburbs."
Despite the loss of Butkus, Lemming said Beckman and his staff have an organized approach to recruiting, an aspect Lemming said shouldn't be overlooked.
"I noticed that from the beginning," he said. "They haven't won a lot of games. That's what's maybe hurting a little bit of the recruiting, but overall, it's a very big class coming in with some talented players like Aaron Bailey, Kendrick Foster and Caleb Day. That's what they sorely needed."
Lemming said the 10 players that are already on campus — five junior college transfers and five high school seniors who graduated early — is a necessity. Plus, the JUCO players Illinois has brought in will need to contribute in significant ways next year, Lemming said. If they don't, talk will most likely surface again next winter of if Beckman should stay on the job.
"At schools where a coach takes over and he realizes the talent is bare, you have to bring in junior college players," Lemming said. "They need older guys who can come in and take the place of what was lacking in the upperclassmen. That's smart. That should help pave the way for a better season. It's inevitable they'll have a better year next year. These guys should lead the way and then develop the younger players for even greater success in three or four years."