Depth Dilemma

Depth on the Illinois' defensive line dictated personnel changes during the off week.

CHAMPAIGN - The Illinois staff made position changes during the off week out of "necessity" to help bolster the interior of the defensive line, Coach Tim Beckman said Wednesday.

Freshman Jarrod Clements is shifting from defensive end to tackle while offensive linemen Dallas Hinkhouse and Christian DiLauro have joined the defense as tackles, too.

"No it's not permanent," Beckman said of the moves. "It's just something we want to see if it can help us later on because there is a depth issue in the middle of our defensive line."

The tackle positions were short on experienced depth heading into the season. Starters Jake Howe and Austin Teitsma and reserve Teko Powell have logged the majority of the reps in the season's first three games.

Injuries, however, to Vontrell Williams and Abe Cajuste shortened the available bodies on the depth chart.

According to Beckman, Cajuste is probable for next week's game versus Miami of Ohio while Williams' return date to full strength is still not known.

Both Hinkhouse and DiLauro spent time with the second team offense in fall camp, but neither has seen game action to this point in the year.

"I've definitely been giving them pointers," Teitsma said. "We did a little bit after practice (Wednesday), me and (Howe). You know, they're coming along really well. I'm actually really excited about those two coming over."

A 6-foot-3, 275-pound Dayton, Ohio native, Clements was recruited as a defensive tackle before opting for end after enrolling at Illinois.

"We gave him a shot at defensive end," Beckman said. "It looked like that was a position that he could help us with…. He's having to move down to defensive tackle. He's willing, he played a couple snaps in the Washington game. He's got to be a guy that can probably play both for us, a DT and DE."

Redshirt freshman Robbie Bain, who moved to the defense in the offseason after spending a season as an offensive lineman, is another option. Freshman Bryce Douglas will redshirt, Beckman confirmed.

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