While there’s no activity on the field, Illinois is plenty active off it when it comes to its football roster.
In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Over the weekend, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. As it turns out, last week, Desmond Dan announced on Twitter that he’s doing the same.
The wide receiver took the first step in leaving New Mexico State earlier this offseason by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.
“Thanks to all the coaches who recruited me but I decided to shut my recruitment down and start my new journey at … The University of Illinois,” Dan wrote.
Thanks to all the coaches who recruited me but I decided to shut my recruitment down and start my new journey at … The University of Illinois 🔶🔷 pic.twitter.com/HWNLcfDuiX
— Desmond Dan Jr. (@drewdan11) April 10, 2020
According to 247Sports.com, Illinois was the only FBS football program to offer Dan a scholarship. That came last Thursday. Dan also held offers from FCS schools Duquesne, UT-Martin and Western Illinois.
As a graduate transfer, Dan will be eligible to play in 2020 (if there is a season). Additionally, he’s expected to receive a medical hardship waiver. If granted, the receiver would have a year of eligibility he could use in 2021 as well.
Coming out of high school in Oklahoma, Dan was a two-star 2016 signee. An injury knocked Dan out for his entire true freshman season. This past season, an arm injury limited him to just three games. The combination of those two injuries makes a medical hardship waiver essentially a slam dunk.
In between injuries, Dan caught 48 passes for 582 yards and three touchdowns. In starting 11 of 12 games in 2018, Dan totaled 491 yards and three touchdowns on 37 receptions.