A former Division II linebacker has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Illinois.
Ex-Northern Michigan linebacker Isaac Darkangelo announced on Wednesday that he will be joining the Illini football program as a walk-on. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, but must sit out during the 2020 season before being eligible in 2021, unless he’s granted an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA.
Darkangelo led Northern Michigan with 105 tackles and 8.5 stops for loss during the 2019 season and was a second-team All-GLIAC selection. As a freshman in 2017, he racked up 60 tackles and another 8.5 tackles for loss. He has appeared in 20 career games at the Division II level.
With Darkangelo’s commitment, Illinois will add a little depth at the linebacker position. His 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame is a good size to play the position in the B1G, and a year on the sideline will allow him to transition into the FBS game.
Illinois is coming off its best year of the Lovie Smith era, finishing with a 6-7 record in 2019 and appearing in a bowl game for the first time since 2014. The Fighting Illini also upset No. 6 Wisconsin and overcame a 25-point deficit on the road to beat Michigan State.