Recruiting Wrap (April 2013)
The Illinois football team has an advantage recruiting-wise it can use against other Big Ten teams.
Even coming off a forgettable 2-10 season that included an 0-8 mark in the Big Ten, Illinois had more players picked in the 2013 NFL Draft than any other conference member.
Trent Sherfield put up numbers last year that should make college coaches pay attention.
Nearly 1,600 passing yards. Nearly 1,100 rushing yards.
All done in nine games for the Danville (Ill.) High School junior.
That averages out to 291 yards of total offense a game.
No wonder Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins is his favorite athlete.
The NFL Draft starts tonight with the first round, continues Friday with the second and third rounds before concluding on Saturday with rounds four through seven.
By the time it’s all done, 254 players will be selected, with perhaps a few coming from Illinois.
The Illini have had 16 players selected in the last five drafts, including five first-round picks.
Wayne McClain has coached a game in front of 47,262 basketball fans.
That was the official attendance of the 2005 NCAA title game Illinois lost to North Carolina in St. Louis.
A crosstown rivalry game between Champaign Central and Champaign Centennial probably won't faze the new Central boys basketball coach.
The college basketball season ended two weeks ago.
The spring AAU season, however, is in full swing.
Illinois had coaches at events in Los Angeles (the first weekend of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League), Dallas (the adidas Exclusive Run), Pittsburgh (Pitt Jam Fest) and Minneapolis (NY2LA Spring Extravaganza) this past weekend.
It’s a slight bump down from what the ranking was last fall.
But Illinois still has garnered a solid evaluation from Rivals.com when it comes to John Groce’s Class of 2013.
Illinois checks in at No. 17 in the team rankings released by the recruiting service on Wednesday, down seven spots from the No. 10 position it was in last October out of the 30 schools Rivals lists.
Spring football practices are done at Illinois.
Recruiting, however, is far from a finished product this spring.
The Illinois coaches were spread throughout the state on Tuesday, visiting key recruits in the Class of 2014.
They spent most of Monday and Tuesday in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs before spreading out to central and souther Illinois today.
Two months from now, they'll arrive at Illinois in time for summer classes.
Six months from now, they'll have their first practice.
And seven months from now, Austin Colbert, Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate should dress for their first Illinois men's basketball game.