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. 25: Marquez Beason
Vitals: 5-11, 175, Fr., CB
Hometown: Duncanville, Texas
High school: Duncanville
Looking back at 2018: Beason wrapped up his senior season at Duncanville by playing in both the 2019 Under Armour All-American game and the 2019 Polynesian Bowl. Those honors came after the consensus four-star recruit — a top 100 prospect nationally per ESPN — racked up 520 yards and eight touchdowns on 35 receptions for the Panthers.
Looking ahead to 2019: While Beason spent his senior season at Duncanville as a receiver and played as running back as a junior, every projection has the speedy Texan playing cornerback at Illinois after being ranked as the No. 11 cornerback in the 2018 class by ESPN. Given the fact Illini could use elite athletes in multiple positions, don’t be surprised if Beason finds his way on the field in multiple ways.
Last year’s ranking: NR