Instant Impact - No. 1

The list of potential Illini impact freshmen concludes with a versatile player that could see playing time early on defense.

No. 1 - Darius Mosely - O'Fallon (Illinois)

A versatile standout on both sides of the ball, the word 'threat' perfectly describes Mosely as a football player.

Listed at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, the O'Fallon native could have played offense or defense in college after posting spectacular numbers throughout his high school career.

As a senior, Mosely had 1,126 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns while also recording 33 tackles, one interception and three special teams touchdowns.

While he could easily have opted to catch passes, Mosely instead will attempt to thwart them as a member of the Illini team. He'll play cornerback and will wear No. 24.

In his favor: Mosely enrolled early, arriving on campus in early January. Word is the coaching staff had high expectations heading into spring drills and Mosely exceeded the lofty standards.

Why he'll play: Just as the case with Caleb Day, Mosely stands a chance because of the overall lack of depth in the secondary. That and he's explosive enough to certainly be involved in the return game.

Why he'll sit: I don't want to hype a young player too much, but I don't see Mosely sitting out this year. He may not start, but he's going to find the field in some capacity.

Final thought: This is certainly up for debate (and I do love a good debate), but I think Mosely will have the earliest impact in this class. And to add to it, I think when all is said and done, he may be the best player Illinois signed in 2013. Aaron Bailey, at the ever-important quarterback spot, stands a good shot at being the most valuable, but Mosely, in my opinion, could have the better career.


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