Connect with us


Illinois Football: Stock Risers After Spring Practice.



Illinois Football: Stock Risers After Spring Practice.
Jan 2, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Tyler Strain (20) breaks up a pass intended for Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Lideatrick Griffin (5) during the second half in the 2023 ReliaQuest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

These three Illinois football players raised their stock during spring practice.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are coming off their best season since Ron Zook led them to the Rose Bowl and nine wins in 2007. Chase Brown, Tommy DeVito, and Devon Witherspoon led one of the best rosters Illini fans have seen in Champaign. After a banner year in 2022, the Fighting Illini look to compete for what will be the final Big Ten West Division title. Illinois needs some new talent to step up and play well.

Here are three players from Illinois Football whose stock rose after spring practice.

Kenari Wilcher, Wide Receiver:

Offensive coordinator Barry Lunney, Jr. has his volume receiver in Isaiah Williams, who led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. What the offense lacks is a big-play receiver. No wideout with ten or more receptions averaged more than 13 yards per reception. Freshman wide receiver Kenari Wilcher could very well fit that role for Illinois. Lunney and wide receivers coach George McDonald have praised Wilcher for his work ethic and improvement. Illinois loves his speed and ability to make plays in space. Wilcher could compete with Hank Beatty for snaps who played on the outside this spring while moving into the slot in four-wide receiver sets.

Dylan Rosiek, Linebacker:

Bret Bielema has to be excited about the competition at linebacker heading into summer camp. Having an open position is one thing, but it is another when you have several choices to play at that position. The Illini are in that position. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Dylan Rosiek is a candidate to be part of the inside linebacker rotation this fall. Last season’s leading tackler, Isaac Darkangelo, is gone, and Rosiek is taking full advantage of the opportunity. Rosiek, who Bielema called a ‘firecracker,’ played in all 13 games, mostly on special teams. After Spring practice, his stock rose for sure. This season, the Florida native could start next to Tarique Barnes at inside linebacker.

Jordan Anderson, Running Back:

Speaking of positions that lose prominent players, running back Chase Brown is now a Cincinnati Bengal. Brown’s departure means that there are over 300 carries up for grabs this fall. The Illini could opt for a running back-by-committee approach. Brown was in a similar situation his first two seasons in Champaign until he broke out this year. Redshirt freshman Jordan Anderson is one running back looking to take some of those carries. He’ll compete with Aidan Laughery and Kaden Feagin. Both have been in the system a year longer than Anderson, but he’s hard to deny at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. Anderson was initially supposed to be used as more of an H-back; he could return to that with his soft hands and size.

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.