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Illinois Football Makes Top 5 for Top JUCO OL



Illinois Football Makes Top 5 for Top JUCO OL
Illinois head coach Bret Bielema is shown after their game Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Illinois beat Wisconsin 34-10. Uwgrid01 7

Illinois Football Makes Top 5 for Top JUCO OL

On Wednesday morning, Amaury Wiggins announced that Illinois Football will in his top 5 schools that he will decide from. Illinois Football sits alongside Miami, Penn State, Texas A&M and Arkansas for the 6 foot 3 lineman from Coffeyville CC. Illinois has a strong returning core of Offensive lineman. They struck luck and were able to keep Isaiah Adams and Julian Pearl after buzz about the NFL Draft and NIL opportunities elsewhere.

The line looks ready to roll. Josh Gesky appears to be on the verge of a breakthrough, and Zy Crisler will build on last season’s flashes. Center, however, is a position in question. Illinois lost Avery Jones to a last minute deal with Auburn, and will now rely on Josh Kreutz to play the center position. Kreutz is a scrappy, intelligent football player, however it does seem that Illinois wants to add depth and firepower to the position.

Amaury Wiggins would be a massive get.

Wiggins would project as an interior lineman. Pearl and Adams anchor Illinois on the outside, however they are rather thin on the interior. Crisler is currently sitting out of spring ball with an injury, Jordyn Slaughter is a solid back-up however has had an injury history. Additionally, this is Josh Kreutz’s first go round as a starter. Illinois has been in the market for a transfer portal lineman, especially since the Avery Jones situation. Wiggins would fit perfectly as he would provide depth and explosiveness on the interior.

However, as with all “perfect fits”, comes a robust recruiting battle.

A lineman in high demand

As mentioned, Wiggins is in high demand. Illinois Football is battling against some premier programs like Penn State and A&M. Additionally, Miami is notorious for its attractive NIL sell and lifestyle that it can offer players in South Beach. Bielema was on record saying that some of their most successful players made over 100K this past year, however Miami is certainly a different animal. Even though Penn State and Texas A&M have not been as successful as recent years, they are always tough to overcome in recruiting. After the Avery Jones situation, I would not doubt a school from the SEC no matter what.

Illinois Football has their work cut out for them, however the fact that they made Wiggins’ Top 5 is a step in the right direction.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.