Here's a look at the five true freshmen who have suited up for the Illini so far in 2012.
The running back from Miami-area St. Thomas Aquinas saw his first action in the Arizona State game and carried the ball seven times for 21 yards in the loss. A three-star recruit, Ayoola plans to major in engineering.
The cornerback played his prep ball at Cleveland's Glenville High under Ted Ginn Sr. and made his collegiate debut last week at Arizona State, recording no stats. His mom, Angela Pope, retired from the Air Force after 25 years and two tours in Afghanistan.
Another Glenville product, the wide receiver has played in each game this season, catching his first pass for a 17-yard gain against the Sun Devils in Week 2. The cousin of former UI and Toledo receiver Cordale Scott, Hardee has made on special teams tackle in each game.
The 4.0-student and all-time leading tackler at Ohio's Orville High, the linebacker's one tackle against Western Michigan forced a fumble. Against Arizona State, the 230-pounder made three tackles at linebacker and on special teams, sharing a sack with Jonathan Brown.
A linebacker from Cleveland's St. Ignatius, Svetina has played in both games for the Illini in 2012, recording his first tackle in last week's loss at Arizona State. The business major was The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Wildcats to a state title.