A relative unknown heading into the summer, Hermosillo picked up his offer from the Illini coaching staff after camping at Illinois in June. The two main reasons for his offer: speed and versatility. He reportedly ran a 4.4 40 at the camp and showed the ability to play running back, wide receiver and defensive back.
From both Hermosillo's own comments and highlight tape, he appears best suited to play offense. And while his size and current role on his high school team suggests he'll play running back, the Illinois coaching staff recruited him to play wide receiver. That, of couse, isn't set in stone.
Let's take a quick look at what Illinois currently has on roster at tailback and receiver and also who else is currently committed in the '13 class.
James Hallendorff - SR
Ryan Lankford – JR
Darius Millines – JR
Spencer Harris – JR
Tim Lukas - JR
Fritz Rock - SO
Leslie Poole - SO
Hayden Daniels - RS FR
James Nudera - RS FR
Jeremy Whitlow - RS FR
Kenny Knight - RS FR
Peter Bonahoom - RS FR
Davontay Kwaaning - RS FR
Devin Church - FR
Justin Hardee - FR
Current 2013 RB/WR Commitments:
Kendrick Foster - Richwoods High (Peoria, Ill.) - 5-8, 185 pounds
Martize Barr - Iowa Western JUCO - 6-0, 185 pounds
So what is Illinois getting in Hermosillo? (*Note, Hermosillo plans to play both football and baseball at Illinois).
What He Said:
"Skill wise I just do whatever I can to help the team," Hermosillo said. "I guess speed. A lot of my game is speed and making moves with the ball. Being able to take advantage of one-on-ones. They want me to be a wide receiver and make plays out there. My speed is great on the baseball field too. I'm good stealing bases, but I have power too."
It's hard to project Hermosillo at the next level because he's a relatively new name on the recruiting scene and there are questions regarding what position (and sport, for that matter) he's best suited to play.
One thing is for certain – Hermosillo is one of the best pure athletes in the state. Playing football, basketball and baseball in high school, Hermosillo has been prolific at each sport. Word is he'll be selected at some point in next year's MLB draft.
In terms of football – some of have compared him to Devin Church, a current Illini freshman.
Most of Hermosillo's highlight tape shows him playing running back. His speed is obvious, but he's no one trick player. He's adept at running between the tackles and has a knack for finding his lane and accelerating through it. He can change directions quickly and can start-stop-start again, proving his quickness. That ability helps him on the baseball diamond at his centerfield position.
If wide receiver is to be his college destination, Hermosillo will have to combat his lack of his size by improving his route running and becoming more technical. He has the speed and quickness to make plays in space (think screens, end arounds and quick pass, catch and runs), but must continue to get stronger to be productive and balanced at the next level.
Versatility inevitably leads to questions. Coach Tim Beckman and his staff must answer those questions, but it never hurts to have an athlete of Hermosillo's caliber to try to figure out.
Beckman recently spoke about the ability of his players to play multiple roles on offense.
"I think that's a credit to the schemes we run because it enables a young man to maybe play a running back, or maybe play a slot (receiver) or maybe play a quarterback as a couple guys are," he said.
While Hermosillo is coming in as a wide receiver, expect him to get looks at more than one position.
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