Illinois has produced NFL defensive linemen like Jihad Ward, Corey Liuget and Whitney Mercilus. While those guys aren’t walking back through those doors anytime soon, the Illini do have some talent for this season and into the future.
Six solid defensive linemen departed the Illini program after the 2019 campaign. The Orange and Blue will have some returning players for the spring, though. Jamal Woods, Calvin Avery, Deon Pate, Isaiah Gay and Owen Carney are all returning as upperclassmen. The underclassmen will be Moses Okpala, Keith Randolph and Seth Coleman.
The big question about the current outlook is, who will step up and cause havoc to the backfield of our opponents?