College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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What will be the impact of Marquez Beason’s injury, both immediate and long term?

Bob says ...

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Marquez Beason

It’s a huge loss for the 2019 season. Beason was going to play a significant role in the secondary. If he wasn’t a starter, he would certainly have been the first guy off the bench.

Nate Hobbs and Quan Martin are talented cornerbacks. But they can’t play every down. With Beason out, the backup spot will be filled by lesser players.

Beason’s contributions weren’t going to be limited to defense. He would likely have been a part of the special teams. And Rod Smith wanted to get a look at him at receiver.

Illinois is now down another playmaker. That follows the loss of its best defender, Bobby Roundtree, because of a swimming accident.

Long term, Illinois hopes to have Beason back next season better than ever. Doctors are able to do amazing work with knee injuries. But the question of Beason’s durability will linger.

Will the coaches be less inclined to try him at two positions next season? Absolutely. Though the player will insist he can handle the extra work, the coaches will be right when they are cautious with him.

And in the future, every time Beason goes high in the air for a catch or to bat a ball away, there will be concern that the repaired wheel won’t hold up.