By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Football Writer/Analyst
August 31, 2021
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A trio of players are no longer with the University of Illinois football program.
Illinois officials confirmed to IlliniGuys.com on Tuesday afternoon that tight ends Cooper Davis and Brandon Hohenstein along with defensive tackle Quinton McCoy have been removed from the 2021 roster and are no longer with the Illini football program. IlliniInquirer.com/247Sports.com was first to report this news.
None of the three players were listed on the active roster that was handed out an hour before kickoff of Illinois’ 30-22 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
Davis, who flipped his verbal commitment to Illinois’ 2020 recruiting class one week before the early signing period, played in two games as a true freshman under then-head coach Lovie Smith before the current Illini coaching staff led by head coach Bret Bielema moved him to tight end following this past spring practices. Davis was a consensus former three-star prospect from Melbourne, Fla., as a defensive end after accumulating 103 tackles, 22 sacks, 39 tackles for loiss and 18 quarterback hurries and one interception as a senior at Viera High School.
McCoy, who is a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle, signed with Illinois in the 2020 recruiting class over offers from Power Five Conference schools that included Iowa State, Kentucky and Louisville. McCoy played in the final two games of the 2020 season under Lovie Smith before finding himself behind Keith Randolph, Jer'Zhan Newton, Roderick Perry, Jamal Woods and even converted offensive lineman Verdis Brown on the projected depth chart of Illini defensive line coach Terrance Jamison. McCoy, who was a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com but a two-star athlete by Rivals.com, had 117 tackles, nine sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss during his high school career.
Hohenstein, who just turned 24 years old earlier this month, was a preferred walk-on trying find playing time at his third career school after spending three seasons at Nebraska (2016-18) and the last two seasons at FCS program Abilene Christian where he accumulated 39 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns. Hohenstein found himself mostly in the role of a special teams contributor during preseason camp but was behind Daniel Barker, Luke Ford and walk-on Tip Reiman in the suddenly crowded Illinois tight end room led by position coach Ben Miller. Hohenstein currently holds a degree from Abilene Christian in marketing and managment and had enrolled in the U of I recreation, sport and tourism master’s program.
The loss of Davis and McCoy from the Illinois roster currently has IlliniGuys.com projecting the Illini’s scholarship number to be 97 with 21 super seniors playing their final year of elgibility in this 2021 campaign.
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