Owen Carney leaves transfer portal to return to Illinois


(WCIA) — Owen Carney spent less than 30 days in the transfer portal, but is coming right back to where it all started. The defensive lineman entered the portal in December, but shocked Illini nation on Sunday announcing he was pulling out of the portal to re-join the Illini under new head coach Bret Bielema.

The second-team All-Big Ten lineman was a major loss to the defensive line when he decided to move on last month, but keeping the 6-foot-3 defensive end will give the Illini a huge boost next season. Carney was third in the Big Ten in sacks in 2020, and ranked 11th in tackles for loss. He was only one of three defenders with 3 sacks in a game, and has played a significant role for the Illini since his freshman year.

So far, 12 Illini seniors are using their extra year of eligibility, including defensive players Isaiah Gay, Kendall Smith, and Tony Adams

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