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Former Illinois Football DE re-signs with the Jaguars

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Former Illinois Football DE re-signs with the Jaguars
Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive end Dawuane Smoot (91) celebrates after sacking Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (4) at Memorial Stadium. The Fighting Illini won 14 - 13. Mandatory Credit: Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Former Illinois Football DE re-signs with the Jaguars

There are close to zero bright spots from the Tim Beckman era. Unfortunately for my personal college days, 3 of my 4 years were under Tim Beckman. All four were under John Groce, however that is an article for a different time. Beckman was a total disaster for Illinois Football,  and was a big reason why football was considered an absolute joke during my time in Champaign. However, Dawuane Smoot was one of those few bright spots. Smoot played 4 years in Champaign, and was an absolute terror on the defensive end.

After 6 seasons in the NFL as a defensive end for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Smoot has reportedly signed a one year deal for 6.25 million dollars. The Jaguars have inched their way back to relevance under a new coaching regime and behind Trevor Lawrence.

His NFL Career Thus far.

The past 4 years, Smoot has totaled 22.5 sacks. He has only missed one game in the last four years showing that he is a durable and reliable option on the EDGE. He has had some primetime moments such as this sack against the Raiders. The Ohio native has been a steady stallwart at an impressive Jacksonville defense. Smoot had a productive 2022 season and played 38.5% of defensive snaps. Unfortunately, Dawuane tore his achilles in week 16 against the New York Jets.

This was truly unfortunate timing, given that he appeared to be a lock for some big time money. However, the Jaguars resigning him despite the difficult injury shows just how reliable he is.

A brewing strength in Champaign.

Since Smoot has left Champaign, much has changed. The Lovie Smith era unfortunately happened, however Illinois Football is in great hands with Bret Bielema. D-line play has slowly become a strength. The late Bobby Roundtree was outstanding in his seasons as an Illini, and players like Seth Coleman, Gabe Jacas, and the Law Firm have all showed that they are next level talents.

It is a shame that a player like Smoot never got to play on the big time stage, however he will surely have that opportunity if he returns from his injury well.

 

Alex is the Owner of Armchairillini.com, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is a Resident Physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Northwestern Medicine and has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS sports and more.

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