Say hello ... to Beckman's newest recruits
QB, Bolingbrook HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a dual-threat quarterback ... coming off a knee injury that forced him to miss half his senior season ... a possible trendsetter for other Chicagoland prospects to follow him to Illinois ... if football doesn’t work out, watch for Bailey on TV as he plans to major in sports broadcasting ... won a Class 8A state championship at Memorial Stadium in 2011 ... will celebrate his 19th birthday during Illinois’ regular season finale against Northwestern on Nov. 30 ... talks to Beckman about three to four times a week
What I’m thinking ... Bailey is the big name in the class. He’s listed first because we’re going through this alphabetically, but even if he wasn’t, Bailey is a player you should watch the most to see how he turns out in the next four years.
WR, Iowa Western Community College
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a possession-type wide receiver who won an NJCAA championship last season ... caught 31 passes for 498 yards and five touchdowns last season ... played two seasons at New Mexico for former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley ... missed 2010 season with Lobos after suffering hand injury in season opener at Oregon ... a Washington, D.C., native who prepped at high school named after our 30th president (Calvin Coolidge) ... first name is pronounced Mar-Tez.
What I’m thinking ... Barr came to Illinois to play. On offense. He has played defense in the past, but look for Illinois to use him more on the offensive side.
DL, Victor Valley College
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a big body (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) who had offers from Baylor, Kansas State and Rutgers, among others ... a Miami native who has played out East (Central Connecticut State), out West (Victor Valley) and now in the Midwest ... only played in 14 games during two seasons at Victor Valley, or the equivalent of one season at Illinois if Beckman’s team plays in the Big Ten title game and bowl game in 2013 ... last name pronounced Ka-Just.
What I’m thinking ... The next Corey Liuget? Possibly. All signs point to Cajuste starting in season opener against Southern Illinois, most likely at defensive end.
DB, Charleston HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a player with a “Blind Side”-like back story ... raised by his older brother, Keithan Hedrick, who played football at Eastern Illinois ... first verbal commit in the Class of 2013 ... already on campus ... missed four games his senior season with broken left ankle, but he made 70 tackles and had three INTs
What I’m thinking ... Beckman needs to lock up his younger brother, Josh, a junior at Charleston. The elder Cazley could see time on special teams next season and possibly as a reserve in the defensive secondary.
OL, Clarkston (Mich.) HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a three-year starter for high school program whose helmets resemble Michigan’s ... team went 11-1 his senior season ... honor roll student all four years at Clarkston ... on campus
What I’m thinking ... Chadwell will eat a lot this semester. And lift weights. Beckman said the offensive linemen who are on campus already have gained at least 10 pounds in the first three weeks. Will most likely redshirt next season but getting here early helps increase chance of playing time.
DL, Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... player with an appropriate nickname — “Chunky” — for a defensive tackle ... played half of his senior season because of knee injury ... couldn’t convince prep teammate Reon Dawson to join him at Illinois ... Dawson committed to Beckman, then flipped to Michigan in January ... cousin is Roy Roundtree, former receiver at Michigan
What I’m thinking ... Clements will start out seeing time at defensive tackle. High school coach Maurice Douglass says he has moves of a defensive end despite his size. Don’t see him starting or contributing right away, but he could down the road.
DB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a ball-hawking defensive back who has size (6-2, 195) ... helped St. Thomas Aquinas win Class 7A state title last fall ... high school teammate of Illinois running back Dami Ayoola ... had five interceptions and 65 tackles his senior season ... father played college football at Virginia Tech
What I’m thinking ... Late commit fills need after decommitments from Dawson and Joshua Jones from Walled Lake, Mich. Comes from solid prep program that consistently churns out D-I players, which should help in his transition.
Ath., Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a versatile playmaker on both sides of the ball ... will likely start out summer workouts with the defensive backfield ... could switch to wide receiver if needed ... Beckman saw him play basketball ... impressed with his hoop skills ... Mike Thomas might want to watch out: Day wants to become AD in the future
What I’m thinking ... One of two four-star recruits in the class, along with Bailey, Day has potential to contribute in 2013. Might see him start off in special teams role before making his mark in 2014 season and beyond.
OL, Uniontown (Ohio) Green HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a tight end for most of his prep career ... will try to transition to offensive line at Illinois ... missed a few games his senior season with ankle injury ... father and uncle played football at Toledo ... early enrollee
What I’m thinking ... DiLauro will become familiar with many campus eating spots in the next few months. Has bulked up from the start of his senior season, when he was at 240, to current weight of 270.
DT, Plainfield Central HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a name familiar to Illinois fans ... son of Bruce Douglas, former Quincy basketball great who starred for Lou Henson’s teams in the 1980s ... most likely wouldn’t beat dad in one-on-one basketball game ... would most likely flatten Dad if he came running at him out of the backfield ... used in goal-line offensive situations at Plainfield Central ... had 22 tackles for loss as a senior
What I’m thinking ... He’ll turn into a fan favorite with his outgoing personality and family name. May not see field much next year — he turns 18 on Aug. 17 — but could develop into another long line of defensive line standouts.
DB, Crete-Monee HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a high school teammate of nation’s top WR recruit Laquon Treadwell ... went up against Treadwell every day in practice and played alongside him in defensive backfield ... won a Class 6A state championship last November at Memorial Stadium ... late commit after Dawson and Jones decommitted ... big fan of former Illini QB Juice Williams
What I’m thinking ... Will join crowded defensive secondary of first-year players. Decent size (6-1, 175) but will need to get stronger. Still young, though. Won’t hit 18 until Aug. 28.
STAR, College of the Canyons
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... an athlete who missed all of the 2012 season with an undisclosed injury ... will have three seasons of eligibility ... made 19 tackles during 2011 season ... played wide receiver at Centennial High School (no, not Michael Finke’s school) in Corona, Calif., before switching to defense in college
What I’m thinking ... Finney is a bit of an unknown and coming off a 2012 season where he didn’t play. Having him healthy will go a long way toward determining what type of role he has next year.
RB, Peoria Richwoods HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a smaller back who rushed for more than 6,000 yards in high school ... one of two signees who played in an All-American game (Semper Fidelis Bowl) ... wants to contribute right away ... committed April 12 ... celebrated his 18th birthday a week later ... nominated for the African-American Hall of Fame in Peoria
What I’m thinking ... If Donovonn Young struggles or Josh Ferguson deals with injuries again, don’t be shocked to see Foster get a share of carries next season. Will need to work on pass blocking, but he has proven he can run the ball effectively.
Ath., Ottawa HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a running back who set Ottawa’s single-season rushing record last fall ... will most likely play receiver ... Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb could probably use him in the outfield ... possible MLB draft pick this summer ... uncle is former MLB pitcher Dave Stewart ... was on Ottawa’s academic honor roll all four years
What I’m thinking ... Could become next Kyle Hudson if he so chooses. Doesn’t have the blazing speed that former Mattoon product had, but he could develop into a key slot wide receiver in new coordinator Bill Cubit’s offense in 2014, 2015 seasons.
OL, Iowa Western Community College
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a teammate of Martize Barr last season ... won a national championship with Reivers’ program in December ... only player in class who bears same name as 1980s TV show revitalized recently on TNT ... left tackle who helped Iowa Western CC average 62.8 points and almost 600 yards of offense last year
What I’m thinking ... Hinkhouse can redshirt at Illinois and still have two seasons of eligibility left. I doubt he will. Junior college players want to play immediately, and Hinkhouse is no different.
DT, Belleville Althoff HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a mammoth kid (up around 350) ... played at Memorial Stadium last fall in Class 2A state title game ... resides in Cahokia ... scored two TDs as a senior (1-yard run, INT return) ... had 34 tackles for loss his final two high school seasons
What I’m thinking ... If he qualifies academically, Jackson could find himself in goal-line defensive situations next year. How he manages his weight and what kind of shape he is in will be key to watch.
DE, Miami Norland HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... probably the highest-regarded high school defensive lineman in the class ... committed a week before Signing Day ... teammate of current Illinois defensive tackle Teko Powell ... helped Norland win Florida’s Class 5A state championship in 2012
What I’m thinking ... Nice pickup late in the recruiting stage for this class. Many thought he would wind up at West Virginia. Could find his way into defensive line rotation next season.
DB, Washington (D.C.) Woodson HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a player who missed more than half of his senior season after residency issues were raised about Kelly ... had nine interceptions and 102 tackles his final two seasons of high school football ... played at same high school as former Illini Tavon Wilson ... Maryland native is happy this week after Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl ... fan of Ravens safety Ed Reed
What I’m thinking ... In his brief senior season, Kelly made plays. Will be in the mix with other incoming freshmen for spot in crowded defensive secondary.
DB, O’Fallon HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a player who put up big offensive numbers (1,126 receiving yards, 10 TDs) last year ... will most likely just play defense at Illinois ... wants to major in computer science ... early enrollee ... returned three INTs for TDs his junior season
What I’m thinking ... Could see southern Illinois native in role of kick/punt returner later on in his career. Wouldn’t be shocked if he switches to offensive side of the ball after productive senior season.
WR, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a player named after his father ... Marchie, Sr. is boys’ basketball coach at Mansfield Legacy ... younger Murdock caught 49 passes for 770 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior year ... which came after he had 34 receptions for 475 yards and five TDs his junior season
What I’m thinking ... It never hurts to get a high school football player from Texas, especially one who wants to be a sports reporter after his football career ends.
DB, American River College
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a hard hitter who compiled 90 tackles and grabbed seven interceptions last season ... originally went to Colorado State ... made 140 tackles and 11 INTs in career at American River ... no relation to the great Tom Petty
What I’m thinking ... Maybe he’ll have the same impact as another recent juco transfer in Trulon Henry. Numbers he put up at American River suggest he might.
OL, Galena (Ohio) Olentangy HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a big-bodied Ohioan (6-6, 275) ... went 10-2 his senior season at Olentangy ... engineering major ... brother played football at Dartmouth ... already on campus
What I’m thinking ... Would love to see who would win in eating contest between Chadwell, DiLauro, Hinkhouse and Schmidt. Winner would get my nod for possible playing time next season.
DE, Groveport (Ohio) Madison HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a kid whose high school team had a harder year than Beckman’s ... Cruisers went 1-9 last fall ... Smoot had 91 tackles, 14 sacks and five forced fumbles despite his team’s struggles ... had 113 tackles and 10 sacks during his junior season ... goes by “D.J.”
What I’m thinking ... Smoot will relish any win Illinois gets next season. Will have to contend with returnees for playing time at defensive end spot, but he could develop into a contributor.
WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a wide receiver who won’t wow you with size (6-0, 170) but has impressive set of dreadlocks ... comes from proven program in Florida ... University went 13-0 and won Class 3A state title his senior year ... had 40 catches for 577 yards and seven TDs his senior year ... caught 34 passes for 530 yards his junior season
What I’m thinking ... Oldest of the incoming high school signees, Taylor turns 20 on Sept. 29, a day after Dad’s Day game against Miami (Ohio). Beckman played true freshmen at wideout a bit last year, so Taylor could see field as well.
TE, Plainwell (Mich.) HS
What Tim Beckman’s getting ... a tight end who possibly could develop into a defensive end ... will put on size during time at Illinois ... played in run-heavy offense at Plainwell ... caught 19 passes for 263 yards and two TDs his senior season ... will graduate in top 20 of his class ... high school coach, Darren Conklin, has son playing at Michigan State
What I’m thinking ... Tight ends weren’t utilized much last season. Will be interesting to see how Cubit will use White, who checks in at 6-5, 245.