Juco pipeline still running
CHAMPAIGN — Call it the Wes Lunt Effect if you want.
Since the former Oklahoma State quarterback transferred to Illinois in mid-June, the Illini have received oral commitments from three wide receivers in the Class of 2014.
The third one happened Thursday.
Geronimo Allison of Iowa Western Community College committed to the Illini, giving Illinois four wide receivers who can start playing at Illinois in the 2014 season.
Allison, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound native of Tampa, Fla., had 26 receptions for 428 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Reivers, who went 12-0 and won the NJCAA national title. Allison is the third Iowa Western player to join the Illini since Tim Beckman assumed the job, with wide receiver Martize Barr and offensive lineman Dallas Hinkhouse set to start their Illinois careers this fall.
Allison — who had offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Ohio and Utah State — wasn’t the only junior college player to choose Illinois on Thursday.
Tyree Stone-Davis, a cornerback from Pierce College in Los Angeles, picked Illinois two days after his twin brother, Tyrin Stone-Davis, did the same. Tyree Stone-Davis (6-3, 200) had offers from Hawaii, San Diego State and Texas State. Stone-Davis, a Philadelphia native, made eight tackles in four games last season for Pierce.
The three juco commits this week brings the total number of juco players who have committed to Illinois to nine since Beckman’s tenure with the program started.
“We went out and got some junior college football players that brought age to our program,” Beckman said Wednesday during Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. “Age, not in the fact that they’ve played Big Ten football, but they have played some brand of college, even though it’s junior college football. It’s very important for us to bring age to the program. We will have to continually do that, in my opinion, for the next two to possibly three years to make sure that we have a balance in our program from seniors down to the freshman class.”
Illinois now has 12 commits in the Class of 2014, with likely only three to four more players joining the class based on scholarship numbers now.