Slayton committed to Syracuse on Christmas Eve, so we'll knock him off the list right now. Adoree Jackson is looking just as much at track as he is at football, and Florida has been doing a great job selling their track program so far to the five star from Cali. Matt Dash was awaiting an Illinois offer, and I have a feeling that when one didn't come during the early signing period, one won't be coming at all.
One guy I think they would find a way to take is Daniel Cage. Cage would fill a huge need on the DL and took an official visit to Illinois. I don't see them landing Cage but it's not completely out of the question.
Where are we at with the other top 2015s both in-state and out of state? Is there any momentum being built with some of the offensive weapons we have brought in recently?
Illinois is still moving forward with guys like Flynn Nagel, Miles Boykin, Dre Brown, and Gabe Megginson. They made those guys a priority in the state in 2015 and hosted a few of them several times for visits during the season. The coaches have also hit states like Ohio hard early in 2015, extending several offers.
The influx of offensive talent combined with the fact that the depth chart isn't really crowded anywhere besides quarterback makes the offense enticing to recruits. Illinois now has Wes Lunt, who has proven he can really spread the ball all over the field, and returns Josh Ferguson, who emerged in a big way this past season as an explosive offensive weapon.
By now surrounding some of those guys with receivers, both slot and flanker, and with an All-American center from in-state, the offensive playbook opens up for Cubit and should complete more big plays this season.
Is the 14 class good enough to improve the team's results next year?
The 2014 class filled a lot of needs as far as depth problems. I'd bet several of the members of the 2014 class are on the field in the fall, but few of them are prepared to the point of being complete game changers from the minute they step onto campus.
I do see several of those guys being very good players in about 2-3 years, but as far as early impact guys who can truly change the tide of a game, I think only a couple of the 2014 recruits fit that bill.
Who if anyone of the 2014 class could start and or play significant minutes next year and help the team?
Continuing from the last question, I think the receiver position is pretty open for competition. With Tyrin Stone-Davis and Mike Dudek coming in early, it's a big advantage as far as preparing to play in the fall. If Dudek doesn't play as a receiver his freshman year, he should at least figure into the return game.
On the defensive side, Jihad Ward should be counted upon pretty early on just purely out of need for impact defensive linemen. He's a behemoth and after the defensive line got pushed around last year, they'll be glad to have someone who can do some pushing of his own. Carroll Phillips could see the field this fall, but he'll be at a disadvantage as he won't arrive until the summer.