Illinois Football Announces 2014 Signing Class

Feb. 5, 2014

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football for the Fighting Illini in 2014. The 12 newest Illini join six other newcomers who are already on campus taking classes - four early enrollees and two junior college transfers - in the 18-man 2014 recruiting class.

"The 2014 recruiting class addresses all of our needs in a big way," Beckman said. "Three of the most pressing areas were wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker, and we added quality football players at each position. I thought our coaching staff did an outstanding job of evaluating recruits very early, which allowed us to sign some of our top in-state targets at the positions of need. This is not a big class because of the small group of seniors who just finished their careers, but it is a high quality class."

2014 Illinois Signing Class Facts
• 18 student-athletes - 13 out of high school and five from junior colleges, 12 skill position players and six linemen
• State Breakdown - 5 from Illinois, 4 from Florida, 3 from Ohio, 2 from Pennsylvania and 1 each from California, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin
• 10 of the 18 signees are from "Illini Nation" - within a six-hour radius of Champaign-Urbana
• 139 total state playoff game appearances
• Four players from the Chicagoland area (Allegretti, Domer, Hylton and Dudek)
• Seven state champions (in nine title game appearances)
• One junior college national champion (Allison)
• Two signees played in an All-American All-Star Game (Allegretti in U.S. Army Bowl, Watson in Blue-Gray Bowl)
• Allegretti is the first U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant to sign with Illinois since Justin Green in 2009
• Combined grade-point average of the class is 3.34 and includes two valedictorians (Roberts, Watson)
• Eight signees have over a 3.0 GPA, including two perfect 4.0s

The 2014 class includes 13 student-athletes right out of high school and five from junior colleges, 12 skill players and six lineman, and features five players from the state of Illinois, four from Florida, three from Ohio, two from Pennsylvania and one each from California, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin. The class is ranked 53rd nationally and tied for ninth (out of 14) in the Big Ten by Rivals based on average stars.

The full list of the 2014 signing class. Click a player name for bio and highlights.

2014 University of Illinois Football Signees (18)
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Last College
Nick Allegretti OL 6-4 300 Frankfort, Ill. / Lincoln-Way East HS
Geronimo Allison * WR 6-3 185 Tampa, Fla. / Spoto HS / Iowa Western CC
Chayce Crouch * QB 6-4 225 Granville, Ohio / Newark Catholic HS
Peter Cvijanovic * OL 6-6 280 Concord Township, Ohio / Benedictine HS / East Coast Prep
Matt Domer RB 5-11 190 Hazel Crest, Ill. / Mount Carmel HS
Mike Dudek * WR 5-11 180 Naperville, Ill. / Neuqua Valley HS
Joe Fotu * DL 6-3 275 San Leandro, Calif. / San Leandro HS / Laney Community College
Julian Hylton DB 6-0 190 Tinley Park, Ill. / Lincoln-Way North HS
Chris James DB 5-11 185 Orange, Texas / West Orange-Stark HS
Paul James III * DL 6-3 240 Miami, Fla. / Norland HS
Henry McGrew LB 6-3 235 Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley HS
Tito Odenigbo DL 6-3 275 Centerville, Ohio / Centerville HS
Carroll Phillips LB 6-3 225 Miami, Fla. / Miami Central HS/Coiah Lincoln CC
Austin Roberts LB 6-2 220 Rice Lake, Wis. / Rice Lake HS
Tyrin Stone-Davis WR 6-3 195 Philadelphia, Pa. / Mastbaum Area VTS / Pierce College (Calif.)
Malik Turner WR 6-3 205 Springfield, Ill. / Sacred Heart-Griffin HS
Jihad Ward DL 6-6 285 Philadelphia, Pa. / Edward Bok Vo-Tech HS / Globe Tech (NY)
Tre Watson LB 6-2 240 Tampa, Fla. / Tampa Catholic HS
* Early enrollee (started classes at U of I on Jan. 21)