Illinois' Marquez Beason practices at new position on Saturday
Marquez Beason wanted to give a new position a try this spring.
On Saturday, following a team practice, head coach Bret Bielema revealed that Beason practiced with the wide receivers. He spent his first two seasons with the program as a cornerback but arrived at Illinois as a 4-star athlete, capable of playing multiple spots.
Bielema said he is still unsure if this will be a permanent move for Beason, per Joey Wagner of 247Sports. However, Beason approached Bielema about the potential move and the head coach checked with defensive coordinator Ryan Walters, defensive backs coach Aaron Henry and wide receivers coach George McDonald, who were all OK with the experiment.
Beason appeared in seven games for the Fighting Illini at cornerback last year, making two starts. He missed the 2019 season due to a torn ACL. He was credited with 7 tackles during the 2020 season.
Illinois could use some depth at the wide receiver position, and with a lot of talent coming back on the defensive side of the football, there might be room for Beason to make a permanent switch. But that’s yet to be determined.
Beason arrived at Illinois as a 4-star recruit and was the highest-ranked player Lovie Smith signed in his five years as head coach.