Sept. 27 recruiting/UI football chat

Sept. 27 recruiting/UI football chat

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 1:00pm

Matt Daniels covers college football and writes daily about recruiting. He chats at 1 p.m. Fridays. Anything goes.

Matt Daniels wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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Greetings everyone. Matt Daniels here for another Friday afternoon chat. Not too many questions in the hopper, so I'll be cutting this off by 1:30 or so. Or bombard me with questions now and I'll stick around until 2 p.m. Your call.

Illinois football gets back in action tomorrow after a bye week. The vaunted Miami (Ohio) offense is coming to Memorial Stadium for the first game between the two schools since 1941. Note the sarcasm on vaunted offense. The RedHawks are struggling to move the ball quite a bit.

Not too big a recruiting weekend for Illinois football, but still some notable names should be on campus. Mainly Class of 2014 commit Nick Allegretti, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, along with Class of 2015 targets in Miles Boykin, a wide receiver from New Lenox Providence Catholic, and Jack Beneventi, a quarterback from Benet Academy.

Big weekend for Illinois basketball recruiting as John Groce's program starts practice today. And the street jam is tomorrow night as well. All three Class of 2014 commits, Michael Finke, Leron Black and Quentin Snider, are expected to be there, along with Class of 2015 target Aaron Jordan. The shooting guard from Plainfield East recently picked up an Indiana offer to add another one to his list.

Let's get started.

Illini__1973 wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

2 questions:

With the current FB schedules and the upcoming 9 game conf sch, 7 home games, Chitown interest, etc, are talks still happening for bringing back the IL/Missery series in StL?  If so, how would that work?

And was that awards I saw on the helmets in Chicago?  Looked like the shape of the state or did I just miss it before?

Matt Daniels wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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Hey Illini_1973,

If Illinois does meet Missouri again on the football field, it won't happen until 2018. At the earliest. Illinois finalized all of its schedules for the next four seasons on Thursday with additions of North Carolina, Murray State, Ball State and Western Michigan to the schedules.

The nine-game Big Ten schedule kicks into gear in 2016, reducing the nonconference games to three. Tim Beckman is interested in playing up in Chicago again. I would imagine Illinois will play up in the Windy City at some point in the next four seasons, either at Wrigley Field or at Soldier Field again. Northwestern would be the likely opponent, with Wisconsin an interesting possibility as well.

I'd be all for Illinois and Missouri renewing the football series. To me, it's a no-brainer, but we'll see how soon that happens. Mike Thomas and Jason Lener are constantly working on football scheduling. Thomas told me a few weeks ago they're already starting to lay the groundwork for games as far down the road in 2022 and 2023. 

If Illinois and Missouri ever do play each other again in football, I'm not sure if it would be at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. If it doesn't come down to a series where games are played on campus, perhaps a game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (which hosted its first college football game last Saturday between Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri) or maybe one of the venues in Chicago (Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular).

As far as the helmet stickers, it's an item Beckman brought with him when he took the job at Illinois. Players had them on their orange helmets last year as well, and you are correct, they are the shape of the state of Illinois.

MikeM wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

If you're John Groce, what is your pitch to Cliff Alexander when he's making his official visit in a month? Personally, mine would be to tell him I have no idea why a big man would want to play with Jaquan Lyle because he's the homeless man's version of Tyreke Evans, but college basketball head coaches don't have quite the same latitude to be as mean (accurate as it may be) as that.

Matt Daniels wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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Hey Mike,

The pitch to Cliff Alexander from Illinois is simple. Come change the program.

Alexander is the dynamic prospect Illinois hasn't landed for the past decade.

Possibly since Dee Brown. Meyers Leonard left after two years and was a presence near the basket, but Alexander comes in as the possible one-and-done player Illinois has virtually never had. Jereme Richmond doesn't count.

We'll see if the whole Alexander-Lyle playing together on the same team works out. Both are obviously enjoying the attention they're getting in the recruiting process, and by throwing that out there, it's another way to garner more attention.

They may think it's a fine idea now, but when it comes down to it, they'll both picking a school where they can stand out. Illinois should be a player down to the very end with Alexander, but Kansas will be hard to beat. When Bill Self latches onto a player, he usually comes away with the recruit.

efrem wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Do you think Illinois will ever get back to scheduling a game in St. Louis against Missouri?  I still think if Illinois would have stuck it out, that game could have created tremendous exposure for illinois and also provided the  University with a great rivalry game.



Matt Daniels wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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Hey Efrem,

See above for earlier response to similar question. Winning once or twice in St. Louis would have helped Illinois out immensely. Maybe would have made them want to continue the series.

The game was a highlight of the early-season schedule, not just in regards to the Big Ten and Big 12 (still can't believe Missouri is in the SEC), but across the nation. Hopefully the game comes back at some point. But it won't be anytime soon.

Matt Daniels wrote on September 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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Going to wrap up the chat this week. Still have some writing to do for tomorrow's paper. We'll take a look at Aaron Bailey's role so far, along with keys to the game, interviews with three other media types who will cover the Illinois-Miami game and much more in Saturday's News-Gazette and here on IlliniHQ.

We'll start our in-game live report around 9 a.m. tomorrow and will have updates throughout the day as Illinois tries to improve to 3-1.

Need anything else from me, email me at or hit me up on Twitter, @mdaniels_NG.

Have a great weekend everyone!