The 90 Illini #64: Reggie Love
I just filled out the stats for Reggie Love below (high school, offers, etc) and... is Love the last time I handed out 4+ Tom Cruises? That would mean that we're coming up on 16 months since we landed what I'd consider a sure-fire college star?
Wait, I gave Deuce Spann 4 Cruises. So no, it hasn't been that long. But still, I never really expected this after a bowl game. More on that later today. This post is about Reggie Love.
64. Reggie Love
Uniform number: unknown (The Year That Freshman Jersey Number Day Never Came)
Year in school: True Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 5'-10" -- Weight: 195 lbs.
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
High School: Trinity Catholic
Five best offers: Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Penn State, Tennessee, Nebraska
Tom Cruise rating: 4.25 Cruises
I kind of hate that he got the Illinois treatment and fell from 4-star status after he committed. Same thing with James Frenchie. Composite 4-star, commits to Illinois, drops to 3-star. Hate it hate it hate it. "Hey, the 294th-best player in the country committed to Illinois!". (Rankings are adjusted six times.) "OK so the 420th-best player in the country committed to Illinois". I get it - the LSU fans pay 247's utility bill, not the Illinois fans, and it's the safest of safe bets to lower the Illinois recruits and boost the LSU recruits - but I can still hate it. Love and Frenchie deserved better (and Isaiah Williams and Marquez Beason deserved to stay in the top-50).
ANYWAY, Love is the Wisconsin tailback we've always wished was in Champaign. Best player in the 2020 class, in my view. A future 1,000 yard tailback at Illinois.
Tailbacks can play early (Mendenhall played early; Leshoure played early), but it usually doesn't click for a few years. Rashard showed signs, showed signs, and then WHAMMO the 2007 season happens. Leshoure showed signs, showed signs, and then WHAMMO 2010.
So I think this is just a "showed signs" season for Love. I do think he'll play (and not redshirt), but there's a fair bit of depth in front of him so he might be limited to kickoff returns and a few series here and there. It might be that for a couple years.
And then, in 2022, WHAMMO.