Instant Impact - No. 5

A look at a group of Illini freshmen that could make an impact in 2013. The list kicks off with a defensive linemen from Ohio that has plenty of upside.

No. 5 - DL Jarrod Clements - Trotwood-Madison (Ohio)

Clements was injured for most of his senior season at Trotwood Madison, but that didn't keep him from maintaining in the rankings. Listed as the No. 37 defensive tackle in the country, Clements was held in high regard due to a quick first step and a good mix of power and finesse moves after the snap.

In his favor: Depth on the defensive line. The Illini lost the headliners on the DL, leaving mostly a group of unproven players or those who played lesser roles in the past. That means there will be an open competition for starting spots and playing time, with every able body getting a shot to make some noise.

Why he will play: Clements upped his weight by 15 pounds this summer, now measuring in at 6-3, 275 pounds. That should help the transition, as he mostly played end in high school. His versatility and high motor should keep him in the mix.

Why he will sit: Almost always, the knock on linemen, on both sides of the ball, is technique. In high school, raw strength and physical tools are usually enough to get by. In the Big Ten, everything changes when a senior offensive lineman locks you up. How quickly can Clements adjust and learn to use disengagement skills and moves to get to the ball? That's the question that has to be answered.

Final thought: Clements isn't going to redshirt in 2013, I feel confident enough to say that. Do I think he'll be a starter? Highly unlikely. But he's going to get a shot and will probably be on the field for a decent number of snaps this season. I project him as providing solid depth, a player that will be prominently in the game plan a year or two down the road.

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