CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Illini will return a bulk of their defensive backs this season, and Illini senior Nate Hobbs thinks they have the talent and experience to be the best position group on the team.
“Not making it a competition, but I feel like we could be that backbone or that spark plug,” says Hobbs.
Hobbs is primed to be a four year starter for the Illini. The cornerback was an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2019, with 67 tackles and one interception that season. He’s joined by other veteran players like Sydney Brown and Tony Adams. Brown was second in the Big Ten last season with 3 interceptions and 6 tackles.
“I just feel like if we can continue that, all the way up to the season and through the season, I feel like we can lead our team to a big ten championship or something like that,” says Hobbs.
Illini redshirt freshman Marquez Beason is expected to make an immediate impact as well. The redshirt freshman suffered a season-ending knee injury, but brings talent and depth to the group. Junior transfer Derrick Smith will also be immediately eligible this season.