Who's the most important recruit for Illini football?

Who's the most important recruiting target for Illini football right now? The Scout experts weigh in

Allen Trieu, Scout.com Midwest recruiting manager


"I think it's Micah Awodiran. He's an in-state kid, a defensive kid and a high academic kid. He would represent a lot of important things for the class and I think is just the type of kid they would want to get into the program and possibly build around."

Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer publisher


"Olalere Oladipo provides an early litmus test for this Illinois staff. He seems to fit the mold of what Lovie Smith wants in his program. Instead of criticizing Illinois' high academic standards, this Illini staff is using it as a selling point. Oladipo is a great student, who has interest in the the university's great engineering program. Lovie wants high-character guys. Oladipo certainly seems to fit that mold. The Illini want size, burst and tenacity off the line of scrimmage. Oladipo has all of those traits and would fill a major need for the Illini along the front four as an edge rusher but also has the versatility to possibly play inside on subpackages. Michigan State has offered, but the Spartans already have three defensive end commitments in 2016. Penn State and Missouri also have offered, but Illinois and Indiana seem to have recruited Oladipo better than anyone to this point. Oladipo has been on campus multiple times this spring, a good sign for the Illini, and expects to make a decision later this summer after more visits. This is the type of recruitment -- an in-state kid at a high-priority position -- Illinois needs to win if it's to take the next step as a program."

Ryan Easterling, Illini Inquirer recruiting reporter


"I'm going to go a bit outside the 2017 box and say Houston Griffith.  Awodiran and Oladipo are both crucial to the 2017 class, but when considering the next few years, I see Griffith as the true litmus test for Lovie's recruiting report card. The Class of 2017 is still definitely important for establishing momentum, and Illinois is chasing some key players in that class. But Griffith (note the last name) is an elite player with offers from the 'Who's Who?' of college football. Landing a key legacy -- he's the son of Illini great Howard Griffith -- who grew up and still lives in Chicago with an offer list like his would prove that Lovie can close out on the eliteguys that would return Illinois to relevance in the Big Ten. Not only would Griffith bring a big-time talent to the state school, but would also generate big-time buzz and really set a precedent for top in-state recruits."

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