Illinois’ defense has suffered a big loss just a few days after the season.
Monday night, Illini linebacker Tre Watson announced via Twitter that he would be transferring from the program. He is planning to use his fifth year of eligibility to play for another program.
— Tre Watson (@ILL_Tre33) November 27, 2017
“I will be receiving my full release as of Tuesday, (November) 28,” Watson wrote. “Moving forward, I know the program is in the right hands and that they’ll continue building the pieces necessary to become consistently successful which is going to come sooner rather than later.”
The loss of Watson is a significant blow for the Illinois defense, as the junior was one of the top defenders for the Orange and Blue. He ranked third on the team with 65 tackles, and also recorded 4.5 tackles for loss and an interception in 2017.
Watson’s best season came in 2016, when he recorded 102 stops for the Illini. He leaves the program with 188 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.
Watson did not provide any indication of where he might be looking to land once he transfers from the program.