CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — One of Illinois football’s best defenders is leaving the program. Sophomore safety Pat Nelson is transferring after three seasons with the Illini. The Chicago native was tied for third on the team in tackles this fall with 65, the same number linebacker Tre’ Watson had, who is also transferring. It means Illinois will lose two of its top four tacklers heading into the 2018 season.
After redshirting the 2015 season, Nelson played in all 12 games last year, making six starts. He appearaed in 10 games as a sophomore, making eight starts. Nelson missed two games due to injury.