Getting Offensive

Illinois is gaining momentum recruiting on the offensive side of the ball.

With the verbal commitment of Mount Carmel running back Matt Domer, Illinois added another talented offensive player in the 2014 class.

At this point, you have to acknowledge what the Illini staff has assembled offensively in this class. Sure, there isn't exactly a blue-chip headliner, no Aaron Bailey-type name just yet.

But there is a good group of solid players, spread out at multiple positions that are pledged to sign for the Illini.

Domer may be the best one yet. He's a 6-foot, 185-pound playmaker from Chicago that comes from a high school renown for pumping out major college football players.

In-state receivers Malik Turner (Sacred Heart Griffin - Springfield) and Mike Dudek (Neuqua Valley - Naperville) were already in the fold, as was highly regarded Lincoln-Way East lineman Nick Allegretti.

That's proof of the 'our state, our team' recruiting platform doing it's job.

Head coach Tim Beckman and recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh worked their long-time ties in Ohio to secure quarterback Chayce Crouch.

From what I've heard, offensive coordinator Bill Cubit and Golesh worked out numerous quarterbacks from the 2014 class, in-state, in Ohio and even flying to Texas to see as many as possible. Crouch was the only one Cubit gave his highest level of recommendation to, though, and the Illini staff landed him.

This is what had to happen. After Beckman's first season, he needed to figure out a way to create some hope, to create some light at the end of the tunnel.

Strictly talking offense, Beckman has already recruited a couple of potential headliners at quarterback in Bailey and Wes Lunt. What's currently in the fold in this class is a good start to building some depth.

Again, I know there's not a flashy four or five star yet. But with the numbers in this class crunched due to so many underclassmen on the roster, Beckman had to address needs and had to maximize the talent. Considering what happened on the field last season, I'm sure recruiting hasn't been the easiest part of the job.

It's pretty clear how the staff is doing this. Evaluating as many kids as possible. Selling in-state kids on staying home. Dangling playing time and asking for kids to join in the fight as an underdog battling for recognition. And calling, writing, messaging and speaking as many times as possible.

Defensively, this class has some work to do. But with so many underclassmen in the two-deep, that side of the ball wasn't the priority.

At this moment, though, recruiting on the offensive side of the ball has some momentum.

It's currently the brightest example of hope that Beckman can sell.


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