Star Illinois DL exits transfer portal, will return to Champaign for 2021
Owen Carney is back, becoming the second Illinois player to hit the transfer portal…then not.
Carney has withdrawn his name from transferring and will return for another season with the Illini. The senior defensive end was named All-Big Ten second-team defense in 2020 after a season where had 28 tackles, five sacks, and seven tackles for a loss as well as a fumble recovery and two quarterback hits.
In 2019, Carney played in 13 games for the Illini with 15 tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for a loss.
— (99) (@GIFTEDOWEN) January 17, 2021
The return of Carney goes alongside some more good news in recent days for Bret Bielema, hired as Illinois head coach in December to replace Lovie Smith. Early in January, wide receiver Edwin Carter withdrew his name from the transfer portal and will stay in Champaign.
Carter has played just one game with Illinois but his return adds depth at a wide receiver position that has produced mixed results for the Illini in recent years.
The return of Carney, a four-star recruit out of high school, along with defensive tackle Jamal Woods, helps solidify Illinois on the defensive side of the ball and along the trenches.
Also on Sunday, senior defensive back Tony Adams said he will return to Illinois for the 2021 season.