The 90 Illini #8: Donny Navarro III

Aug 21, 2021

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Whole damn world forgot about Donny. Rod Smith forgot about Donny. And because Rod Smith forgot about Donny, the fanbase forgot about Donny. But I didn't forget about Donny. Here, I'll help you remember that you forgot about Donny as well.

Remember when it was October 19th and Wisconsin hadn't given up a passing touchdown the entire season and then Donny did this?

Or in the bowl game that year when Donny did this?

I mean, Donny tried to remind everyone last year in the Nebraska game.

Yet Rod Smith still forgot about Donny. We should remember Donny.

8. Donny Navarro III

Wide Receiver
Uniform number: 86
Year in school: Junior (without the Covid waiver, 1 year to play 1; with the Covid waiver, technically 2 years to play 2)
Height: 5'-11" -- Weight: 185 lbs.
Hometown: Naperville, Illinois
High School: Neuqua Valley HS
Former School: Valparaiso
Five best offers: n/a - was an FCS walkon transfer
Tom Cruise rating: n/a - walkon transfer

2020 statistics: Played in all eight games - 8 catches for 88 yards.


Wait, 8 games, 8 catches for 88 yards? Wasn't the first night game at Wrigley Field on 8-8-88? Actually, I think it was rained out and the first night game was 8-9-88. This means that an 8-8-88 season was a "rainout" and this season we'll get the real Donny back. I have no idea where I'm going with that.

Donny is from Mikey Dudek's high school. He went to Valpo. After a great freshman year at Valpo, he decided to give Big Ten football a shot and he walked on at Illinois. In 2019 he was our second leading receiver and he was put on scholarship. And then last year, Rod Smith forgot about him.

2021 Outlook

The 2021 plan: to not forget about him.

He's been doing his part. Here's Donny this spring showing the new staff that he can be the #1 receiver:

I think I'll just leave the "outlook" right there. Donny needs to have the most catches on the team. The end.


SuburbanIllini on August 21, 2021 @ 06:05 AM

Hell yeah.

GilThorpe on August 21, 2021 @ 07:40 AM

he’s the present day version of Clay Fejedelem. There is just something about the football “ heart “ of guys that get overlooked in high school and then go on to NAIA or DIII schools and then everyone at those schools then tell them they belong in DI FBS.

Navarro simply catches the ball even when it seems uncatchable , and then holds onto it when it seems like the hit should knock it out .

I think he will average a bit MORE than 1 or 2 catches per game for us this year . Not sure if last years numbers are so goofy due to Smith & Smith , covid , or Peters being out so much , but just 8 catches for him the whole season is just crazy .

illinizeeman on August 21, 2021 @ 08:06 AM

Football player. He has the exact demeanor that Bielema wants to recruit.

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