Prep Preview: Josh Black

June is always a strong recruiting month for Illinois, and DL Josh Black was the first to get the ball rolling for the Illini this summer when he committed to his in-state school.

Joshua Black, a 6’-3” 235 pound defensive end from Machesney Park (IL) Harlem High School near Rockford, became the third in-state and fourth overall commitment in the Illini’s 2016 recruiting class this summer when he jumped on an offer earned at a camp at Maine South.

Let’s take a closer look at the Illini commit, who has given himself the nickname, “The Honey Bear"

The Bio:

Height & Weight:6’-3”, 235 pounds
Positions:DE, OT

We first saw Black at one of the Illinois satellite camps at Maine South High School this summer. A physically-impressive prospect off-the-cuff, we discovered that most of his high school career had been spent on the offensive line up to that point. And frankly, his offensive film was impressive, too.

But when Black showed up at the camp, ran well, moved with agility, and won some one-on-one matchups with some of the best linemen in camp, such as Kevin Jarvis, he caught the eye of the Illini coaches, and an offer came by the end of the night.

When Black committed a few weeks later, he told us that he actually wanted to commit right on the spot when he received his offer, but he held off and spoke with his parents about his decision first. Black will likely start out as a strong-side defensive end at Illinois, but could possibly end up growing into a three-technique defensive tackle with his frame. He is similar in many ways to current Illinois defensive lineman Dawaune Smoot, both in stature and in versatility.


Season Outlook:

Week 1 Opponent: Rockford (Guilford)
Toughest Matchup: Rockton (Hononegah)
When we’ll see him: Week 7 vs. Rockford (Auburn)

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