Daniel Imatorbhebhe

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Illinois adds FCS standout as a transfer, at least the 10th such addition since March for the Fighting Illini

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The transfer roll for Illinois football has shown no signs of abating.  In fact, it’s picking up a notch.

Earlier this week, Daniel Imatorbhebhe committed to the Illinois football program.  The tight end had opted to transfer from USC earlier this offseason.

Earlier this month, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) confirmed that it had suspended football as well as other fall sports seasons.  Because of that, South Carolina State’s Roderick Perry entered the NCAA transfer database.  A few days later, the defensive tackle announced on Twitter that he will be transferring to Illinois football.

“Giving special thanks to my parents, Rod & Maria and my Uncle Tim for being instrumental in my dedication to a life of football,” Perry wrote. “I would also like to thank the coaches at SC State for taking a chance on an unranked kid from Raleigh, NC. Finally, I’d like to thank my teammates and everyone supporting me with my decision.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances and after discussing it with Coaches and family, we collectively decided that the best decision for me at this time is to enter the transfer portal on June 24, 2020. It was never my intention to leave my bulldog family at South Carolina State University. In the fall of 2020 I will be joining the fight with the University of Illinois.”

Perry will be eligible to play immediately in 2020.

At South Carolina State this past season, the North Carolina native accounted for 14½ tackles for loss and 4½ sacks.  In a loss to USF, Perry was credited with three tackles, one of which went for a loss.

With Perry and Imatorbhebhe commitments, Illinois has now added at least 10 transfers since March.  seven of which are Power Five transfers.  And two of which were FCS All-Americans.

In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Shortly thereafter, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. New Mexico State wide receiver Desmond Dan did the same.  As did Miami wide receiver Brian Hightower.  And Mississippi State offensive lineman Brevyn Jones as well in early May  And Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith in mid-May.  And Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu that same month.  And Missouri wide receiver Khmari Thompson earlier this month.

USC TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe to join brother at Illinois, becomes seventh Power Five transfer Lovie Smith has landed since March

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Illinois has added a very familiar — and unique — surname to its football roster.  Unofficially, of course.

In March of this year, Daniel Imatorbhebhe was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Four months later, it was reported that the tight end would use that extra, extra year at somewhere other than USC as he entered the NCAA transfer database.

On Twitter Wednesday night, Imatorbhebhe announced that he has committed to the Illinois football program.

Thus far, the program has not confirmed Imatorbhebhe’s addition to the roster.

Obviously, as a sixth-year senior, Imatorbhebhe has already graduated.  And, as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the Fighting Illini in 2020.

Imatorbhebhe is the brother of Josh Imatorbhebhe, who was the Illini’s leading receiver a year ago (33-634-9).  Like his brother, Josh Imatorbhebhe played a portion of his collegiate career at USC.  In June of last year, that Imatorbhebhe transferred from USC into the Illinois football program as well.

The decision to give Daniel Imatorbhebhe a sixth season was a relatively easy one.  Imatorbhebhe was held out of spring practice two years ago for what was described as a nagging hip injury, then missed the entire 2018 season for what was called an upper leg muscle injury. The year before, a hip flexor injury caused him to miss five games.

After beginning his collegiate playing career at Florida, Imatorbhebhe, a three-star 2015 signee, decided to transfer in May of that year and ultimately landed at USC a month later. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

During his time with the Trojans, the 6-3, 240-pound tight end started nine of the 22 games in which he played, catching 25 passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns.

With Imatorbhebhe’s commitment, Illinois has now added seven Power Five transfers since March.  All told, the Fighting Illini have added at least nine transfers overall.

In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Shortly thereafter, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. New Mexico State wide receiver Desmond Dan did the same.  As did Miami wide receiver Brian Hightower.  And Mississippi State offensive lineman Brevyn Jones as well in early May  And Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith in mid-May.  And Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu that same month.  And Missouri wide receiver Khmari Thompson earlier this month.

TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe will use sixth season of eligibility somewhere other than USC

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One USC football player is now an erstwhile member of the Pac-12 program.

In March of this year, Daniel Imatorbhebhe was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  According to 247Sports.com, the tight end will use that extra, extra year somewhere else as he has entered the NCAA transfer database.

Imatorbhebhe would offer another FBS program a talented, but oft-injured option at the tight end position.

From our post in January of this year:

In July of last year, USC released its updated media guide for the 2019 season. In it, Daniel Imatorbhebhe was listed as one of the 34 “squadmen lost” for the Trojans as they headed into the new campaign.

No specific reason for the fifth-year senior no longer being listed as part of the football program was given, although he has battled numerous injuries over the past couple of years. Monday, however, 247Sports.com reported that Imatorbhebhe has rejoined the USC Trojans football team. According to the site, Imatorbhebhe is already attending meetings with the rest of his teammates.

Whether the tight end will be permitted to play in 2020, though, technically remains up in the air. From the report:

It remains underdetermined whether Imatorbhebhe has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, but according to bylaw 12.8.1.7.1.4, he is allowed to practice in spring until a decision has been made.

Based on his injury history, Imatorbhebhe should be close to a shoo-in for that sixth season.

Imatorbhebhe was held out of spring practice two years ago for what was described as a nagging hip injury, then missed the entire 2018 season for what was called an upper leg muscle injury. The year before, a hip flexor injury caused him to miss five games.

After beginning his collegiate playing career at Florida, Imatorbhebhe, a three-star 2015 signee, decided to transfer in May of that year and ultimately landed at USC a month later. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.

During his time with the Trojans, the 6-3, 240-pound tight end started nine of the 22 games in which he played, catching 25 passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns.

USC TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe “doubtful” for Texas game

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USC’s win over Stanford this weekend showed the Trojans may be prepared to live up to the offseason hype following a red-hot finish to the 2016 season, but the Trojans offense could be without a key player for at least one more week.

Tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe is said to be doubtful for the Trojans this week when the Texas Longhorns make a trip to the Coliseum. USC head coach Clay Helton announced the latest injury status for his tight end during a conference call on Sunday, and Helton reportedly contemplated the possibility of shutting Imatorbhebhe down until he is ready to rejoin the team. A hip injury is to blame.

Imatorbhebhe caught one pass for 12 yards in USC’s season-opening win against Western Michigan. He sat out of the Week 2 Pac-12 battle with Stanford. Last season, he was responsible for 17 receptions and 250 yards and four touchdowns, including five receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown in a key upset of Washington.

Helton also announced the Trojans will be without redshirt freshman kicker Michael Brown due to a torn ACL. The Trojans will give place kicker Chase McGrath the kickoff duties moving forward.

Helmet sticker to Reign of Troy.

Fifth member of Jim McElwain’s first recruiting class at Florida to transfer

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Florida’s secondary continues to face some depth concerns ahead of the 2017 season. The depth chart lost Chris Williamson, multiple reports confirmed today, who is opting to transfer to a new school.

The former four-star defensive back was recently guided through a position change to pad the depth at the safety position this spring. Williamson has spent the past two seasons in Gainesville and has appeared in 14 games with one start. He came to Florida as part of the first recruiting class signed by Gators head coach Jim McElwain in 2015, and he is now the fifth player from that class to transfer, according to Inside the Gators.

From Inside the Gators;

Williamson is the fifth player from Jim McElwain’s inaugural recruiting class at Florida in 2015 to transfer from the program, joining running back Jordan Cronkrite (USF), offensive lineman Brandon Sandifer, tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe (USC) and tight end/linebacker Camrin Knight (Georgia State).

The news of Williamson’s intent to transfer comes on the same day Florida revealed it will be without safety Marcell Harris for the 2017 season. Harris suffered a torn Achilles tendon that will force the fifth-year senior to miss the entire 2017 season.

Williamson will have to sit out the 2017 college football season if he transfers to another FBS program, according to NCAA transfer rules. He will be eligible to play immediately this fall if he transfers to a program at the FCS level or below.