Future roster is the focus of goodbye week | Sports

Champaign — Bret Bielema’s main focus during the Illinois football season is his team.

Do Irini coaches spend their time recruiting during the week of the match?

Of course, that’s a small amount compared to the work done to prepare for the next opponent, and it’s all done from the Smith Center.

But this week there are no opponents. Illinois (2-5, 1-3 Big Ten) will not play again until the kick-off at Pennsylvania State University (5-1, 2-1) on October 23 at 11:00 am. That’s why Bielema and Illini coaching staff are focused on the future, taking advantage of the 68 evaluation dates assigned each fall by the NCAA.

Burma gave about 36 hours to go out on the road earlier this week with aggressive line coach Bart Miller.

The duo visited four states, including Kansas and Iowa, and scouted and evaluated the required position groups. For the rest of the week’s plans, coordinators Ryan Walters and Tony Petersen stayed in Champaign to help with Thursday’s practice, with the rest of the assistants on the road.

“Thursday and Friday, I wanted to give them a full 48-hour time frame and get as much academic and athletic evaluation as possible. Our number of outings on Saturday is limited.” Said Bielema. “I also go out on Saturday and come back late Saturday night before jumping into the Pennsylvania State University assessment on Sunday.”

Their recruitment trips and ratings cover the 2022-24 class outlook. In Illinois, 15 players have joined the 2022 class after the departure of 3-star defensive lineman Brian Allen on Tuesday. According to 247Sports, the group is ranked 9th in the Big Ten and 46th in the country.

Strong intra-state promotion in the 2022 class, which was an important part of Bielema’s recruitment plan when he got a job in Illinois, led to many commitments. Of the 15 players currently promised to sign Illini in December or February, eight are from the state.

Illinois staff will continue to recruit high school prospects in the 2022 class, but transfer may play an important role in the 2022 season rostering. Bielema and Co. is planning a personnel meeting on Sunday. This is one of several meetings to be held in the coming weeks to plan the course for next year. Illinois will take another week off in November, playing in Minnesota on November 6th, and then in Iowa until November 20th.

“In the second week after the next three games, we need to have a pretty good understanding of who will come back and who will move on,” Bielema said, saying some players will leave or coaches will leave. Declare an unexpected NFL draft. “The roster is a constant evolution. There is a baseline of what we are doing, but from the perspective of adopting a pure roster number, it is an ongoing task every day.”

What makes the roster calculation a bit more difficult is the bonus year given to all players last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has created opportunities for about 20 super seniors this year. Almost the same number of senior Illinois students will have the opportunity this offseason.

The decision to stay or go is a two-way discussion with Bielema, and the scholarship-granted coaching staff is only guaranteed for four years. As the NCAA changed the scholarship player roster limit, Bielema welcomed all super seniors who wanted to return this season. They will return to normal in 2022 — only 85 scholarship players.

“Last year, thanks to COVID, a coach who didn’t know his roster came in and offered a very unique opportunity to invite everyone,” said Bielema. “I felt it was important to us to maximize where we were. All those super seniors would count as pure bonuses, but that’s not the case when moving forward. Hmm. NCAA doesn’t allow us that.

“What they did was give everyone a COVID bonus year, but they didn’t give institutions or programs the ability to keep it. It’s because they don’t have a better term to monetize. It’s like I promised I couldn’t. “

However, one of the recent changes to the NCAA Act will support Illinois in the short term. The team is now able to sign seven additional transfers, exceeding up to 25 new scholarship players per year. For teams like Illinois, these additional transfer spots can help if you can lose more than a dozen seniors this offseason.

“That’s what I was a kind of bank,” Bielema said. “Now we can actually get 32 ​​new people into the program, which for us as a program to reach 85 scholarship players if that rule is not passed. It wouldn’t have been possible. That’s a big advantage for us. But regardless of whether it came from a junior college, a transfer portal, or a graduate transfer, the seven transfer players who came in It’s a kind of work in progress. “

Future roster is the focus of goodbye week | Sports

Source link Future roster is the focus of goodbye week | Sports

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