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Before the start of Illinois football's training camp on Aug. 2 in Champaign, beat writer SCOTT RICHEY is counting down the Top 50 most important Illini heading into the 2019 season:

No. 15: Josh Imatorbhebhe

Vitals: 6-2, 215, Gr., WR

Hometown: Suwanee, Ga.

High school: North Gwinnett

Looking back at 2018: Imatorbhebhe had an opportunity last August to jump up Southern California’s wide receiver rotation after a shoulder injury to Michael Pittman Jr., but then he suffered his own ankle injury. That same injury ultimately cost Imatorbhebhe the entire season, limiting his production in three seasons at USC to just two catches for 11 yards in two games in 2017.

Looking ahead to 2019: What Imatorbhebhe will be able to accomplish at Illinois is, to be fair, unclear. His potential as a former four-star recruit and a ridiculous athlete (have you seen the video of him essentially levetating?) at least is a promising addition for the Illini. So is the fact he plays a position of need and that he’ll have another year of eligibility after this fall. With so many question marks surrounding the Illini receivers going into 2019 — can Ricky Smalling become the go-to target, will Dominic Stampley produce on a consistent basis and what will fellow USC transfer Trevon Sidney bring — this is a chance for Imatorbhebhe to take on a strong, supporting role.

Last year’s ranking: NR

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).