The NCAA transfer portal continues to be a point of emphasis for Lovie Smith and the Illinois coaching staff.
Illinois received a commitment from former Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu on Saturday. He’s the second transfer player to commit to the Illini this week, joining former Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith.
Udeogu played in 27 games at Cal, but appeared in only two contests a season ago due to injury. He redshirted as a freshman in 2016, so Udeogu will have at least one year of eligibility remaining but could have two if he receives a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA.
As a graduate transfer, Udeogu will be immediately eligible for the 2020 season.
Udeogu’s most productive season at Cal came in 2018 as a redshirt sophomore. That year, he appeared in all 13 contests for the Bears and totaled 13 tackles. He leaves Berkeley with 20 careers stops to his name.
Illinois is coming off its first bowl season since 2014 and is looking to follow that up with another postseason run. The Fighting Illini were 6-7 last year, falling to Cal in the Redbox Bowl. The 2020 team should be Smith’s most experienced.