Instant Impact - No. 3

The list of potential Illinois freshmen to make an impact continues with an athletic cornerback from Ohio.

No. 3 - DB Caleb Day - Hilliard Darby (Ohio)

Of the 2013 Illinois signees, Day had one of the more impressive offer sheets, an indication of his overall talent. The Illini secured his commitment early in the process and kept him in the fold after the likes of Michigan and Ohio State offered.

In his favor: Depth at cornerback and safety. Much like the defensive line, nearly the entire secondary will be different from a year ago. The cornerback position is especially young, so Day will be among a group of players that is short is on actual game experience.

Why he will play: He's an explosive athlete that played at a high level on both sides of the ball in high school. His size, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, should provide the opportunity to play either corner or safety, and there's a good chance he'll play a role on special teams.

Why he will sit: It's obviously an old song, but it still rings true -- is his technique refined enough to play in the Big Ten? That's always the question for freshmen, especially those on the defensive side of the ball. Hips, core and footwork -- it has to be on point when defending the pass.

Final thought: Day is too good of a football player to redshirt this season. While I think Eaton Spence and V'Angelo Bentley have a good handle on the top two corner spots, Day and fellow freshman Darius Mosely will be in the fight for reps throughout fall camp. I think it's unlikely Day plays much, if at all, offensively, but he'll for sure get a look in the return game.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories