Illinois has had several good tight ends over the years with a few still playing in the NFL. None of them, even including the great Ken Dilger, have the combination of size and speed of Duval county’s (FL) very own Louis Dorsey.

He displayed great hands on several occasions, but what stuck out to me was his break away speed. Linebackers didn’t stand a chance covering Louis and most of the times safeties were just as helpless.

Louis finished with 22 catches for 395 yards and 3 Touchdowns in his freshman season of 2017. He actually missed a game, as well, so those numbers for a freshman could be even more eye catching. By the way, he led or was second amongst all first-year tight ends in yards and catches, as well as yards per catch.

Louis deserved to be on the freshman All-American team alongside fellow Illini, defensive back Bennett Williams.

I caught up with the Jacksonville native during his break back home about his first year playing college ball and what he wants to improve this upcoming year.

In His Words – Louis Dorsey

  • Adjusting from high school to college is never easy but adding weight training and demands at the highest level of amateur athletics can’t be easy. I wanted to know what was the most important thing Louis learned or took away from his freshman year in Champaign.

Louis Dorsey: “I learned a lot. College football is very different from high school. The game is a lot faster, so I gained a lot of football knowledge as in study film on my opponents and watching my practice film to see what I need to improve on. Also learning different types of defense and speed of the game.”

  • Improving is part of success in any sport. Biggest leap players genuinely make are between first and second year. I asked Louis what area he wants to be more productive or improve the most.

Louis Dorsey: “I want to get better blocking. My blocking ability is definitely it.”

  • I talk a lot about “Littyville” with recruits. Not so much with current players, so I asked Louis if he could sense recruiting momentum and culture changing for the better.

Louis Dorsey: “We expect to make a bowl game this season, and yes we can definitely feel the momentum. We are really close.”

  • My final question was geared towards the coaching change of Garrick McGee and Rod Smith and the contrast of their different types of offense. I asked his feelings on the new wide open, fast paced spread Rod Smith will implement.

Louis Dorsey: “I’m very excited for the new offense. It’s built around the tight end for the most part. You’ll see me getting a lot of action this upcoming season.”

Swami’s Take

A lot has been made of Illinois missing out on “the big fish” at tight end in recruiting as of late. Luke Ford picked Georgia and it seems Jahleel Billingsley is leaning towards Florida. I always thought the former D1 basketball recruit could be dynamic pass catcher for Illinois. He is someone many are still over looking. Caleb Reams and newly committed Griffin Moore will help in other facets.

Illinois has good enough talent and depth at tight end to sustain success. Louis Dorsey could very well end up being an NFL player down the road. I know he has the drive and desire to be great while helping bring Illinois success in the process. At 6’6, 230 pounds and a 35 inch vertical, Illinois is prepared to unleash Louis Dorsey’s full potential.

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