The 90 Illini #64: Jared Badie


Robert
Jul 5, 2022
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Family has gone home, 4th of July is in the rearview, and I'm back to it. Don't really wanna know how many days I'm behind. I'm guessing there will be a bunch of "50 days until Illini football!" tweets soon, and they'll make their way across my timeline, and then I'll know how far behind I am, but until then, blissful ignorance.

(I'm totally something like 11 days behind.)

I can't talk about Jared Badie without saying the thing: Badie-Beatty-Bailey. It's the nightmare elementary school teacher thing where he has a Brayden, a Caden, and an Aiden in his class. "Aiden, do not stand on your chair. No, not you Caden - Aiden." At practice this fall the coaching staff will have two freshmen whose names are pronounced the same way (Badie and Beatty) and one that sounds very similar (Bailey).

I'm sure they'll have nicknames and such and Kevin Kane will just call his outside linebacker "J-Bay" or something. So this is a nothingburger. But still, I like living in this world where I imagine Bret Bielema having to say "Badie, do not stand on your chair. No, not you Beatty - Badie."

64. Jared Badie

Outside Linebacker
Uniform number: 25
Year in school: True Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 6'-3" -- Weight: 215 lbs.
Hometown: Aurora, Illinois
High School: Oswego East HS
Five best offers: Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan State, Arizona State, Minnesota
Tom Cruise rating:

Background

Including these offer lists is a very good way to make you say "oh" and then do that little pursed-lip sit-back motion. It's been a year since he verballed (he committed on the 4th of July last year) and I still feel like Jared Badie never received enough fanfare. On3 has Badie as a four-star (the only four-star in this class). So by their ratings, Badie is the second-best recruit Bret Bielema has landed at Illinois (behind Kaden Feagin in the 2023 class). Maybe it's just my perception, but I feel like 10 recruits in this 2023 class have gotten more fanfare than Badie did last year. And all (besides Feagin) are ranked well below Badie.

He also enrolled early and got on the Tank Wright "add 10 lbs of muscle in the first six months" plan. So if he shows up to fall camp somewhere around 225 lbs, there's a chance he could see significant snaps at OLB this season. He'll need to eventually get to 235 or 240, but if he's at 225, he can do what Isaiah Gay did as a freshman in 2017. He has the body type to be ready sooner rather than later. And by that I mean "the guy in front of you in line at Subway where you think to yourself 'OK, yeah, he has shoulder muscles that doctors have never identified - this guy has to be a football player'."

2022 Outlook

Isaiah Gay graduated after last season. He split time with Seth Coleman early last season, and then the light bulb turned on, and then Gay got nearly every snap in the second half of the season. Including the Iowa game which earned him Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. So Seth Coleman moves into the starting spot there (where he started three games in front of Gay in the first half of the season) and then the backup spot behind Coleman is open.

His most likely backup: Shammond Cooper. This will be his fourth season, and he's had one year of Get Your Mind Right with Lou Hernandez and then two years of Bout Dat Action with Tank Wright so it's time. Time for him to become a significant part of the defense.

If he's not ready to be the backup, the #3 guy is Badie. And we've seen it before (like with Isaiah Gay in 2017) - a new coach brings in his first recruiting class with players specifically recruited for a role (like Lovie/Nickerson with Gay and like Bielema/Walters with Badie) and they start playing that guy as a true freshman as much as possible. If Badie is deemed ready, he might push Cooper (and Coleman) for snaps in the very first game.

If not - if Coleman and Cooper are ready to handle the weakside OLB duties - then Badie can redshirt and be Bout Dat Action. Which is why I have him at #64.

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