Receivers trying to play to new ‘standard’

Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Bret Bielema’s past offenses have been known for their hard-nosed running, and that’s not expected to change at Illinois. But the Illini will need the passing game to keep pace for a successful 2021.

The receiving corps will need new stars to emerge after losing leading receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe. There is plenty of experience mixed in the room with new weapons hoping to breakout. Bielema and wide receivers coach George McDonald are setting the bar high for the group.

“They hold us to a pretty high standard,” says junior Brian Hightower. “That standard is perfection to be honest. Coach (Bielema) brought that in here, Coach McDonald pushes me to be great. Nothing less than that.”

“I think having Spring Ball really helped guys get the playbook, understand that standard that we have going on here,” says junior Donny Navarro. “Smart, tough, dependable football. As long as we continue to follow that standard I think we’re going to be in a good spot.”

Hightower and Navarro are the two leading returning receivers, but converted quarterback Isaiah Williams and transfer Jafar Armstrong are looking to climb the depth chart.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.