Josh Imatorbhebhe has found his groove at Illinois.
The former USC Trojan WR has proven to be a valuable asset for the Illini offense and QB Brandon Peters. Through 10 games, Imatorbhebhe has 29 catches for 598 yards, nine touchdowns, and is averaging 20.6 yards per reception. He leads the team in every category.
Along with his work on the season, it was Imatorbhebhe who came up big on multiple occasions in the comeback against Michigan State. He caught two touchdowns in that game and was the recipient on the long fourth down play that kept the game-winning drive alive.
On Monday, Illinois OC Rod Smith discussed Imatorbhebhe’s development. Smith highlighted his physical skills and a growing understanding of what Illinois is trying to do offensively and also pointed out that he has a nice comfort level for the wide receiver in one-on-one situations.
Isaac Trotter with the Illini Inquirer shared Smith’s comments:
“I think that one, he’s a good football player. Good football players find a way to get open, find the ball. Good quarterbacks know how to get him the ball. Hopefully, I’m smart enough to get him the ball as well. He does a good job from a physical standpoint. He’s starting to understand more of what we’re trying to do offensively. He’s settled in in my opinion. I’m comfortable with him outside as probably anyone I’ve coached in awhile. If I have him one-on-one, I feel good about my odds. I feel really comfortable throwing it up to him.”
Illinois is riding a four-game win streak but now faces a tough road test to Kinnick Stadium to face Iowa. The Hawkeyes currently have a five-game win streak in the series and have outscored the Illini 136-16 during Lovie Smith’s tenure. Can Illinois pull off another shocker?