The pipeline between USC and Illinois continues to flow, as it was announced Monday morning that wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe is transferring to Illinois. As a graduate transfer, Imatorbhebhe will be immediately eligible and give Illinois' receiving corps a boost.
Imatorbhebhe will also see some familiar faces in Champaign, Illinois. He's the third grad transfer to make his way from sunny Southern California to the plains of Champaign. Fellow receiver Trevon Sidney made the move earlier this offseason, as did defensive end Oluwole Betiku.
Like both Sidney and Betiku, Imatorbhebhe came to USC as a highly-touted recruit, but things didn't go to plan. After redshirting his freshman season, Imatorbhebhe was limited to five games in 2017 before suffering a lower-body injury that cost him the rest of the season. Last year, as a redshirt sophomore, Imatorbhebhe was expected to take on a bigger role in the USC offense but never saw the field after suffering an ankle injury.
Still, despite the injury history, this is a chance worth taking for both sides. As long as Imatorbhebhe stays healthy, the 6-foot-2 receiver will see plenty of snaps for an Illinois team without much proven talent at the receiver position. Odds are both Imatorbhebhe and Trevon Sidney will start for the Illini in 2019, as will Betiku at defensive end.
If the three of them can live up to the promise they had coming out of high school, it would be a significant infusion of talent into an Illini roster that needs it if it wants to get back to a bowl game for the first time since 2014.