The 90 Illini #90: Prince Green
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First off, it's 90 days until the season starts, which is insane. It's been 70 days since the Loyola game. So for those of you who really only follow football and basketball and then it's this long break before football starts again, in 10 days you'll be halfway through your long break.
Second, this year's 90 Illini is impossible. Just impossible. There are 81 scholarship players on campus right now with 13 freshmen and 5 transfers arriving this summer. There might be departures (and there might also be more transfers coming in over the summer), but for now, I see 99 scholarship players for next season. When I set up The 90 Illini ten years ago, I put the number at 90 because that would include the 85 scholarship players plus five walkons. Lovie's second season I believe there were 76 scholarship players so I included 14 walkons.
This year, there's nine scholarship players who won't even make the list. I believe I have three walkons on this list I just made, so the number will be 12 scholarship players who won't make The 90 Illini. What a strange year this will be. My next three-deep could easily be a four-deep.
Let's get to the 90 Illini-ing. I've ranked, in order, the 90 most-important Illini this season. We'll go through one player per day right up until the Nebraska game. Starting with...
90. Prince Green
Year in school: True Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 6'-2" -- Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
High School: Griffin HS
Five best offers: Kentucky, Minnesota, Purdue, Kansas, Liberty
Tom Cruise rating:
Green is an ATH recruit from Georgia who some recruiting sites listed as a wide receiver and some listed as a defensive back. The plan, I believe, is to play him at cornerback. And that's the main reason he's on this list (while several of his classmates did not make The 90 Illini this year).
At least one freshman cornerback will be in the rotation this year and the 4th or 5th cornerback. So I felt like all of the freshman corners needed to be on this list. We might see some situation where only four freshmen play (and don't redshirt), and a cornerback will definitely take up one of those spots.
It's always interesting when there's a coaching change and an ATH recruit. Lovie's staff saw Green as a cornerback, and when Green signed his LOI (before Bielema got the job), I'm sure he was planning on playing corner. Given the numbers issue at corner, that's likely still the case.
But it's also possible that the new staff looks at him and says "this kid is a wide receiver" (or maybe even "this kid is a safety"). You never really know when there's a significant scheme change from one coach to the next. So guys like Prince Green will be interesting to watch.
For now, given that there were only five scholarship cornerbacks on the roster this spring (and one of them started the spring as a walkon), I'm guessing Green is headed for corner with classmates Daniel Edwards, Kionte Curry, and Tyler Strain. I think at least one of them will play in all 12 games. My guess is Edwards or Curry, but it might be Green, and that's why he made the list.