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Trevon Sidney

Southern California wide receiver Trevon Sidney (13) in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz.

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. 13: Trevon Sidney

Vitals: 5-11, 170, Gr., WR

Hometown: Pasadena, Calif.

High school: Bishop Amat

Looking back at 2018: Sidney set career highs across the board during his redshirt sophomore season at Southern California. The slot receiver appeared in four games and caught seven passes for 104 yards — a career-best average of 14.9 yards per catch. Of course, his previous career highs in 2017 weren’t a serious hurdle to clear (three receptions for 35 yards in three games) after offseason surgery on both hips.

Looking ahead to 2019: The third of three USC grad transfers has a story similar to his Trojans teammates — Josh Imatorbhebhe and Oluwole Betiku Jr. — also making the transition to Illinois. Sidney was a four-star recruit out of high school who ultimately didn’t play much at USC because of a combination of injury and being on a star-studded roster. Given Illinois’ need at receiver, this is Sidney’s best chance.

Last year’s ranking: NR

College/Prep Sports Reporter

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