Illini Scoops presents its first article in the “Illini Scoops freshman Spotlight Series”. This series will be about getting to know your Illini football and Illini men’s basketball newcomers. It will feature interviews about the player themselves, a review/prediction on how the player might impact the Illini team respectively, etc.

This article will focus on 2018 Illini football commit Khalan Tolson from Saint Petersburg, Fl. Khalan Tolson was recruited by some pretty successful schools such as Michigan and Michigan St. He was ranked as a 3-Star recruit coming into college and seemed like a fairly underrated player given his size of 5″11 and 200 lbs. Luckily the Illini were able to snag this quick OLB who will create a lot of havoc on the defensive side of the ball this coming season.

Speaking to the Tolson’s:

Reading the scouting reports of Khalan Tolson will let one understand the type of player he is but this doesn’t tell you much about him or his family. So I decided to learn more about him and his family and Khalan and his father, K.C. Tolson, were kind enough to talk to me for a bit about what’s going on with Khalan specifically and the football team in general.

AS: How’s your experience of moving into college going and what are you hoping to accomplish freshman year both athletically and academically?

Khalan Tolson: I moved in about a month ago and the experience is going pretty good so far. I want to play as a true freshman and academically maintain a 3.5 GPA through the fall semester.

AS: How would you describe your personality both on and off the field? And who would you say are you closest to as a result of that?

Khalan Tolson: I like to play with chip on my shoulder in the game, but off the field I’m a nice respectful young man. I’d say Bobby Roundtree without a question!!

AS: How much muscle weight do you think you’ve added since coming to campus? What should Illini fans expect from you this season as a result of this?

Khalan Tolson: I’ve put on 12 pounds since I’ve been here on campus and I think fans should expect a fast, sideline to sideline, hard hitting player when the season starts.

AS: What are you looking forward to most about the Illini football season and how does the team look from your perspective?

K.C. Tolson: I think they are doing a tremendous job with the team as a whole and with blending the class of 2018 in. From what I see and what my son tells me everyone is on the same page and are bonding well together.

AS: How does your son feel about this upcoming season?

K.C. Tolson: He’s very excited and is looking to play a great deal with hard work and effort as well as learning and getting comfortable with the playbook.

Role for this Year:

Last season the Illini lost a genuine star linebacker in Tre Watson who transferred out of Illinois to Maryland. This year, it is presumed that Khalan will be put into Watson’s role and will be expected to play some big minutes for this Illini team. He won’t be fazed by the pressure however, as Tolson has played in many important games in high school and been a part of elite recruit competitions such as The Opening. Just like Bennett Williams surprised many people last year and received ESPN Freshman All-American accolades, don’t be too surprised if Khalan Tolson has a similar impact this season.

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