13 days to Camp Rantoul
Counting down the 50 most important Illini.
No. 13: Geronimo Allison, WR
Why he’s important: The last Illinois wide receiver to come in and lead the Illini in receiving yards in his debut season has earned millions in the NFL. Not sure if the same future awaits Allison like it has Arrelious Benn, who recorded 54 catches for 676 yards during his true freshman season in 2007. But offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, wide receivers coach Mike Bellamy and pretty much anyone else closely associated with the Illini offense was salivating at the thought of what Allison could do this fall. The Iowa Western Community College transfer was, at times, the best wideout Illinois had during spring practices. Allison wasn’t fully healthy, either, dealing with lingering effects of a broken arm he sustained last November at Iowa Western. Adding weight is a priority for Allison, who, if he continues to produce during preseason practices on campus and at Camp Rantoul, should find himself starting against Youngstown State. At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Allison gives Illinois a physical presence who could turn into a key option for Wes Lunt in the red zone
Fast fact: Lightly-recruited out of Spoto High School in Riverview, Fla., the Tampa native only played one season of high school football because of poor academics before compiling 95 receptions for 1,300 yards and 10 TDs in two years at Iowa Western. He picked Illinois last July ahead of offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Ohio and Utah State.
Last year’s ranking: N/A
Tomorrow: No. 12
No. 14: Zane Petty
No. 15: Jon Davis