Illinois Landed a much needed presence for it’s Linebacking group earlier this week when former 4-star top 150 LB Camilo Eifler chose the Illini. Eifler transferred after a redshirt freshman season at Washington that saw him playing special teams and struggling to crack the two deep. With that said, Eifler isn’t without great athleticism and stature. Standing 6’1 weighing 225, Camilo brings a multitude of physical gifts to make an impact at Illinois.
Washington was a top 10 team both seasons and had several quality linebackers ahead of Camilo, So a fresh start where his talent is wanted and needed was a perfect fit. Camilo will be a Blue Shirt this coming season and be able to practice later in the year but not travel with the team. He will be a redshirt junior when he first plays a game for Illinois but he was excited for a new path. I caught up with Camilo about why he chose Illinois and his ties to Hardy Nickerson.
In his words with Camilo Eifler
I wanted to know what drew a Bay Area boy to Central Illinois to finish his college career in Champaign.
He told me ” I felt comfortable during my 5 days in Champaign. It is definitely different than Oakland and Seattle but I enjoyed the people and the staff very much. Fans would come chat with Hardy Nickerson each night we went to dinner. I also really look forward to seeing the new performance center open up by my final season. Lovie and the staff are bringing in the right people and I want to help be part of something speical.”
I also asked if his former Defensive Coordinator Hardy Nickerson was a key piece of picking Illinois.
Camilo said “Yes, it was a part of it. I also know that playing time will be available and learning under football legends like Lovie Smith and Hardy Nickerson will help me get to the NFL. That’s where I want to be.”
I asked him what other schools were looking at him before he chose Illinois.
Eifler told me “San Diego State and Fresno were on me pretty good but honestly before I saw Washington blocked me from transferring to any other Pac-12 school, I had Every Pac-12 school show me interest. I thought about staying on the west coast but I needed to branch out. It’s a new chapter for me.”
I asked Camilo when he would be in Champaign before Fall camp and where he thinks program is headed.
“I know defensively Illinois has great coaches but let me also say, the new OC Rod Smith is gonna do a great job here. I saw khalil Tate in person and actually he is a close friend.He had nothing but great things to say about Rod.”
Camilo Assured me he will be on campus in Late July and will be at practices with team just can’t travel with them.
Illinois got an athlete it desperately needed for Lovie Smith’s defense and a guy who believes in what the staff is doing. He said he felt super comfortable in Champaign and around the staff/players. I dont expect that to stop during Lovie’s tenure and players believe they will make the next level under his coaching along with rest of the staff.
Camilo will start the day he walks on the Memorial Stadium turf for the start of the 2019 season. Not starting at Washington during his one season of playing on a top 10 team isn’t enough to worry me about Camilo. He has the body, mind and spirit to be a difference maker in 2019. Illinois has made plenty of connections in the Bay Area from Hardy Nickerson. They are leaving no stone unturned and not afraid to take talent from other states. Only one question left, will Shammond Cooper be standing next to him?