CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois receiver Donny Navarro entered the transfer portal on Friday, becoming the second player this week to announce he’s in search of a different school for next season. Navarro was fourth on the team with 17 receptions last season for 167 yards. The former walk-on from Valparaiso was also the primary punt returner with 16 returns for 121 yards on the season, fourth in the Big Ten for yards per punt at 7.6.
Navarro’s departure further hurts a wide receiver room that is in need of an upgrade. The only returners for next season who have played significant time are Isaiah Williams and Casey Washington. Freshman Pat Bryant played in 10 games but only caught six passes. Brian Hightower was a team leader in 2020 but did not see the field in 2021, taking a redshirt. Multiple playmakers have elected to transfer or move on, including tight end Daniel Barker, Deuce Spann, Jafar Armstrong and Dalevon Campbell.