16 days to Camp Rantoul
Counting down the 50 most important Illini.
No. 16: Martize Barr, WR
Why he’s important: Barr was brought in with the hope of turning into a big-play threat in the passing game. The junior college transfer from Iowa Western Community College made some nifty plays in his debut season with the Illini. And he had games where he was a non-factor. The key for the senior is to make himself known in each and every game this season. Barr played in 11 games, missing the season finale at Northwestern because of a death in his family, and started against Michigan State and Purdue. He finished his first season at Illinois with 26 catches for 246 yards and one touchdown, which came on a 26-yard catch against Cincinnati, easily the best game of his season last year (five receptions for 72 yards along with a 24-yard run against the Bearcats). Barr had at least one catch in every game he played last season, but will need to fare better down the stretch against Big Ten foes this season after he managed five receptions for 40 yards in his final five games last fall. Was pushed during spring ball by true freshman Mikey Dudek, but should see the field in significant chunks this fall.
Fast fact: Iowa Western has developed into a solid pipeline of players for Illinois since Tim Beckman arrived. Barr was the first Reiver to commit to the Illini when he did so in August 2012. Since he did, fellow Iowa Western products Dallas Hinkhouse (Class of 2013), Geronimo Allison (Class of 2014) and Andrew Davis (Class of 2015) have committed to Illinois.
Last year’s ranking: No. 15
Tomorrow: No. 15
No. 17: Austin Teitsma