Beckman raids 'Illini nation' in 2013 class

Beckman breaks down 2013 recruiting class

Beckman raids 'Illini nation' in 2013 class
February 6, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Despite their 2-10 season, and zero Big Ten wins, The Illini and head coach Tim Beckman were able to compile a 2013 recruiting class ranked 46th in the nation.

Beckman announced the signing of 15 players to national letters of intent Wednesday. They will join 10 other players who have already enrolled at Illinois (five early enrollees and five junior college transfers), bringing the total number of new recruits to 25 student-athletes.

“Fifteen of those 25 recruits … were from what we call Illini nation,” Beckman said. “And Illini nation is a six-hour radius that spreads around the city of Champaign … that’s the area that we feel is crucial for the success of any program.”

There are a total of eight players in the class who are from within the state of Illinois itself. Most notable of the local recruits are defensive back Darius Mosely from O’Fallon, defensive back Dillan Cazley of Charleston, defensive tackle Bryce Douglas of Plainfield Central and running back Kendrick Foster from Richwoods.

Foster was one of two Illini players, along with defensive end Paul James from Miami to play in All-American games this year, according to Beckman.

But the most impressive recruits for the Illini are four-star quarterback Aaron Bailey of Bolingbrook High School in Illinois and four-star athlete Caleb Day from Hilliard Darby High School in Ohio. Day was given a 5.8 rating on Rivals.com and is ranked as the 10th best athlete. Bailey, son of the former NFL receiver by the same name, has a Rivals score of 5.9, and is ranked ninth overall for dual-threat quarterbacks and is listed as the fifth-best prospect from the state of Illinois.

Bailey is a “great individual,” said Beckman. “I’ve been around this business my whole life and Aaron Bailey is as good as a person as I’ve ever met. We talked three times a week, four times a week.”

Perhaps more important than his personality, is his talent.

“He’s a winner, knows what it takes to win,” Beckman said in his signing-day press conference. “Aaron’s commitment to us showed that he sees a future here and he sees that he can be involved in winning.”
And it’s entirely possible that Bailey, along with his fellow 2013 recruiting class, will be able to contribute to that winning future right away.

"Each of these young men will have the opportunity to compete for immediate playing time, and I'm sure several will be able to contribute very early in their careers," Beckman continued. "This class of recruits are outstanding young men, excellent students and come from very successful programs at the high school and junior college level, and will be great additions to our current football players."