CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football signed six defensive players in the early period for the Class of 2020. Five of those guys are defensive lineman. The position group was the biggest point of emphasis for the Illini, who will lose key contributors Jamal Milan, Tymir Oliver, Kenyon Jackson and Ayo Shogbonyo after this season. Combine those graduates with missing Bobby Roundtree, who suffered a serious spinal injury in a May swimming accident, and the D-Line needed a big boost for next season.
“We knew there would be a void of defensive lineman so we kind of attacked it really hard and really feel good about that defensive line class going in,” Illinois head coach Lovie Smith said.
Illinois signed Florida natives Cooper Davis, Quinto McCoy, Johnny Newton and Tre’Von Riggins, along with junior college prospect Anthony Shipton. He played for Cerritos College in California last season.
“We’re going to play 10-12 guys in a game potentially and it’s a position where it takes a lot of banging, so you need depth,” Illinois defensive line coach Austin Clark said. “So fired up about all the guys we got.”