The 90 Illini #63: Brevyn Jones

Jul 27, 2020

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I mean, at this point I've just thrown up my hands. Three more players have left the program (Ricky Smalling, Jake Cerny, and Ra'Von Bonner), and all three had yet to appear on my countdown. So now, not only am I counting down to a season that probably won't happen, I've already used the walkons I was saving in case players left the program this summer (which they did - Jordan Holmes and Joseph Thompson left while Christian Bell never arrived). So here we are at #63 with three new holes between 63 and 1. (Those holes, by the way, were all low numbers: Smalling was going to be #12, Cerny 29, Bonner 33.)

So now, to do a full countdown of 90 players, I'll have to get creative once again. My plan: I wasn't going to use Brevyn Jones (a sit-out transfer from Mississippi State), but I need people for this list so I'll put Jones here at #63. I'll then run with the regular list for a while (with those two holes still there) while I monitor the possibility of more late-summer grad transfers (to fill the holes left by Cerny and Bonner). I still have Khmari Thompson (another sit-out transfer who could conceivably get a waiver) sitting there, so if I need to, I'll add him to the list somewhere. And then, if I still have one more open spot, some walkon is going to end up ranked in the 20's or something.

(And all of this counting down to a season on the brink of cancellation. "I should move to Champaign and write about the Illini full time!" Good call, Robert.)

63. Brevyn Jones

Offensive Lineman
Uniform number: unknown
Year in school: Second-year player (4 years to play 3)
Height: 6'-4" -- Weight: 280 lbs.
Hometown: Center Point, Alabama
High School: Huffman HS
Former team: Transfer from Mississippi State
Five best offers upon transferring: Florida State, Maryland, Oregon, Georgia Tech, and Missouri according to this article before he picked Illinois.
Tom Cruise rating: 2 Cruises

2019 statistics: Did not play at Mississippi State (redshirted as a true freshman).


Jones was originally committed to Tulane, but after a solid senior HS season, Mississippi State offered so he flipped from Tulane to MSU. His high school season ended on 10/26, Mississippi State offered on 10/30, he decommitted from Tulane and committed to Mississippi State on 10/31.

Then, after one season there as a redshirt freshman, his coach (Joe Moorhead) was fired and was replaced by Mike Leach. A few days after Leach tweeted a photo of a woman knitting a noose, several players, including Jones, put their name in the transfer portal. (The article linked above states that Jones was already considering leaving MSU because the coach who had recruited him had been fired, so I guess we don't know how much the noose tweet played into that decision.)

2020 Outlook

I just wrote about this when he committed a few months ago, so I'll go do a quick cut-and-paste from his LLUOI post because why type it all out again?

This was a recruit who was needed. When I made that 2021 depth chart in November, I was basically saying "man, we could really use another offensive lineman who won't be a 2021 true freshman". We've now landed someone from the 2019 class who will be entering their third season when fighting for one of those 2021 spots. That's not nothing. That eases some of my "2021 cliff" fears.

His outlook for 2020? An almost certain redshirt whether he gets a waiver or not (even applying seems a bit pointless to me given that four seniors and a junior will be starting and taking up all the snaps). He sits out the season and then his clock still has 3 years left. He can fight for a starting spot at training camp in 2021 and then, if he wins it, he can hold that spot for the 2021, 2022, and 2023 seasons.

What spot? Being listed at 6'-4" usually doesn't mean tackle (it also usually means you're 6'-2.5"). So I'll guess he ends up at guard or center. When camp opens we'll get our first glimpse at where the coaching staff sees him contributing in the future.

(IF camp opens.)


escot on July 27, 2020 @ 12:25 PM

I'm a bit confused on the redshirt scenario. Didn't he already have his redshirt season?

Robert on July 27, 2020 @ 01:23 PM

For a redshirt freshman who transfers and has to sit out, "redshirting" doesn't matter because you can't redshirt twice. So either look at it as he took a year of eligibility at Mississippi State and will redshirt at Illinois or he redshirted at MSU and will take a year of eligibility sitting out here. Either way, he enters 2021 as a "3 years to play 3" player.

If he were to get a waiver for this season, he could play immediately, but that 5-year clock will still only have 3 years remaining in 2021. Barring injury, he won't be needed this season, so he won't play, which means none of that stuff matters (waiver, redshirt, etc). He'll simply enter training camp in the summer of 2021 with three seasons left on his clock.

IBFan on July 27, 2020 @ 06:24 PM

Having the opportunity to do your dream job, if this is it, even with all the valleys should make it well worth it. I’m sure when given the chance your readers will make it worth your and your family’s sacrifices.

Adapt your countdown to whatever fits the circumstances as they come. Skip a day, skip a number, review a player in a different way that unfortunately has to leave the team, but just keep moving forward. I am going to guess most of us enjoy reading your insights on where a player fits, their history, and their possible future.....numbers schnumbers.

We will have a season. We will win.

CapitalCityOutlaw50 on July 27, 2020 @ 08:20 PM

Its too late to not do a #77- maybe move Evan Kirts up with Cerny gone??? But always leave yourself the option of not doing a #77 or a #50. This is Illinois after all. . . and nobody gets those numbers. . .

Hoppy on July 28, 2020 @ 04:06 PM

Heads up, as of now I think Smalling might be the only GONE-gone player.

Bonner put something out about not playing due to COVID and then quoted Whitman saying his scholarship was safe.

So maybe for him (still don’t know about Cerny) just put him at the highest number available and shift everyone else down. Jones has replaced Smalling but Bonner and Cerney may just be taking a year off. (Whether that means they are burning their year of eligibility, getting an automatic red-shirt, or simply getting a mulligan, I don’t know)

Basically, I’m not sure they are off the team (Bonner and Cerny anyway), just sitting out this year. So they could still be in the countdown.

Chukwuwumba on July 28, 2020 @ 10:26 PM

I like this player from what I’ve read/listened. Haven’t watched any of his film, but HS film probably not relevant anymore.

Don’t worry too much about numbering. There will probably be transfers In to fill the spots. Plus if season delayed a already done for next year!

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