31 days to Camp Rantoul
Counting down the 50 most important Illini.
No. 31: Darius Mosely, DB
Why he’s important: Didn’t play like a true freshmen at times, namely late at Penn State. But reminded folks he was still only a year removed from high school at other parts of the season, namely against Michigan State. While he likely won’t go into fall camp with a starting spot secure, he can work his way into the rotation among the cornerbacks like he did last season. Mosely contributed 36 tackles last fall while playing in all 12 games last season. He made three starts, all against Big Ten foes, while V’Angelo Bentley recovered from an ankle injury. He makes up for his lack of size (5-11, 185) with a physical nature Tim Beckman likes. Beckman coaches the cornerbacks directly, so Mosely has an easy chance to impress the Illinois coach throughout the season. Look for him to see the field again, early and often. Could also emerge as an option to replace Miles Osei on kickoff returns and punt returns.
Fast fact: Illinois has 44 in-state players on its roster, but Mosely, the pride of O’Fallon, is the only one who played his high school football within a 30-minute radius of St. Louis. Other O’Fallon products to play at Illinois are tight end Anthony McClellan from 2001-04 and fullback Rodney Byrd from 1993-96.
Last year’s ranking: No. 36
Tomorrow: No. 30
No. 32: Justin DuVernois