Daily Digest | Bielema preparing for NFL Draft losses; Heisman Chase update

There’s a lot of news each day. The Illini Inquirer will try to make it easier to digest each weekday morning with the Daily Digest.


One downside of college football team success is losing talent early to the NFL. Of course, for college programs that beats the alternative of not having the NFL talent that leads to success on the field — and in recruiting.

  • But after a breakthrough start to the 2022 season, Illinois coach Brett Bielema — whose no. 17-ranked Illini (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) lead the Big Ten West — is now preparing to lose a few players, who are key to the Illini’s success, to the NFL.

Bielema said: “We have a certain number of guys who are playing extremely well who may have the opportunity to play in the NFL quicker than maybe others had expected,” Bielema said. “Because of that, that’s opened up the door that we’re probably going to have a few more roster spots than we were normally planning on.

“It’s a great problem. …This last week I probably went through our roster management, myself and [executive director of personnel and recruiting] Pat Embleton, and then (Sunday night) with our staff for two hours about not just what we have on our roster right now but what we project to have and if we don’t have those same projections what our course of action is. We’re just a much better-prepared organization.”

The Illini will lose several key seniors after this seasonincluding several All-Big Ten candidates: QB Tommy DeVitoOL Alex PalczewskiDB When MartinDB Sydney Brown and DL Calvin Avery.

Several Illini with eligibility remaining could also make the leap to the NFL. Here are some of those possibilities:

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