By Steve Sturm - IlliniGuys Football Analyst
December 4, 2023
(Cover photo courtesy Yale Athletics)
Its no surprise that Illinois was going to go after mature and experienced players to make up for the loss of Jer'Zhan Newton, Keith Randolph and Denzel Daxon, their starting three defensive lineman from last year. However, I have to say I was surprised to see the commitment from Yale lineman Clay Patterson to Illinois just as the conference championship games were starting and the college football playoff match-ups weren't even set. Patterson reported offers from several high major schools after only a few days in the transfer portal, and more would likely have been on the way had he waited for more interest. So, this is a big get for Illinois both literally for the 6'3, 290 pounder and figuratively given the state of the defensive line depth chart.
What does he bring to the Orange and Blue?
Patterson's best asset is his pass rushing ability, and though he's a bigger guy, I have to say