Illinois has had two pretty good classes to start out Lovie Smiths tenure in Champaign. Garnering classes that finished in the upper to mid 40’s and snagging a couple top 200 national players. It was just a matter of time before this NFL heavy experienced staff broke through with a top 100 offensive weapon. Not only does a stagnant offense need a playmaker but one who could help on special teams as well.
Insert Bishop Dunne WR/CB Marquez Beason whose nationally ranked 78th in the country in the class of 2019. He made a trip all the way from Texas on an unofficial visit to watch the team practice and talk with new coaches on Saturday. He gave his verbal commitment to the staff and as you can tell from social media, it’s a pretty big deal. I caught up with Marquez before he made the trip about his commitment and why he wants to make his mark at Illinois.
Q&A with Marquez Beason
It’s no secret Beason is a dynamic athlete, I wanted to know where the coaching staff at Illinois sees him playing. Beason told me “They said I can do anything and everything i want. I feel I can make an impact in a couple areas”
When I talked to Beason on Thursday I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised he was gonna commit this weekend. I asked how long has he known and he told me “I’ve known this is where I want to be for the last week or two. But in my visit last year, Champaign felt right and that hasn’t gone away.”
It’s most kids who play football’s dream to make it to the NFL. Marquez is no different and told me the coaching staff played a huge decision. He said “They have great knowledge and experience coaching at the highest level, that’s where I want to be. Yes it definitely played a role.”
As many of you know Beason has two former teammates committed to Illinois, Calvin Avery and Kievan Myers. The familiarity will make his transition easier but at the end if the day he told me this is what’s best for him. My last question was about helping recruit other talent. When asked if he was gonna hit social media and help land more talent like him he gave me two words….”of course”
This is the best athlete Illinois has landed in over 10 years. Watching Beasons HUDL can bring a smile to your face quick. He is dynamic catching the ball in space and making defenders miss. His fierce competitive spirit and size make him tough as a defensive back as well. It wouldn’t shock me to see him returning punts and kicks his first year either.
The Illini coaching staff and in this case Andrew Hayes Stoker has done a tremendous job staking claim to a Texas power in Bishop Dunne. The talent continues each year and getting players like Marquez Beason can help turn around a program quick. Especially when he’s recruting as hard as he plays on the field. I have a feeling he won’t be the only top 100 player this class lands. I fully expect a huge spring recruting wise. Buckle up Illini fans, things are getting fun again