CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois head coach Bret Bielema has been sitting on a handful of open scholarships this Fall. After keeping an eye out for impact walk-on’s through two weeks, he awarded scholarships to five players including Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley alumni and current Illini outside linebacker Bryce Barnes.
Barnes has played in every game of his three years with the Illini. He has already made an impression with the new coaching staff.
“Bryce Barnes, Right down the road from Gibson City,” says Bielema. “Played a lot last year, played for us. I use him as a shield on punt. Just an awesome, awesome young man. All five of those guys I’ve been very impressed with since the day I got here.”
Linebackers Sean Coghlan, Isaac Darkangelo, and Ryan Meed, and tight end Tip Reiman were the other players who also got scholarships.