CHAMPAIGN — Illinois and first-year football coach Bret Bielema have experienced quite a bit of turnover lately.
According to Illini Inquirer's Jeremy Werner, six Illinois players entered the NCAA transfer portal earlier this week. Redshirt freshman running back/wide receiver Kyron Cumby, redshirt freshman wide receiver James Frenchie, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Phifer Griffin, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Brevyn Jones, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Tre'von Riggins and senior defensive lineman Anthony Shipton are all looking for fresh starts.
Riggins shared Friday via Twitter that he has already picked up a scholarship offer from Jackson State, whose coach is NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
Per Werner, of all six athletes who are transferring from the Illini, Jones was "the first Illinois scholarship player to enter the transfer portal since the end of spring practice."
Jones, who transferred from Mississippi State to Illinois after the 2019 season, announced his decision to transfer again via Twitter on Tuesday.
"Thanks to Illinois and both staffs for an amazing experience and thanks to all the people I met along the way," Jones tweeted. "With that being said I've decided to put my name in the transfer portal #GodsPlan"
Jones, Cumby, Frenchie, Griffin and Riggins each have four years of eligibility left, while the eldest of the transfer group, Shipton, has two years of eligibility remaining.
Shipton shared his decision via Twitter on Tuesday, too, and received an offer from Montana State the same day.
"To all my coaches and teammates, thank you! I appreciate all the opportunities given to me as a Fighting Illini," Shipton tweeted. "Being able to wear the blue and orange was a true blessing. This school will forever have a place in my heart. With that being said, I will be entering my name in the transfer portal. God bless you all! 90 Out"
One other player, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kevin Tyler, left Illinois after spring practice as well, according to Werner. Whether or not Tyler has entered the transfer portal remains unclear.
Aside from players departing, Illinois has had several athletes switch positions since last season, headlined by redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams' move from quarterback to wide receiver.
One of the most recent switches comes from sophomore Coran Taylor. He has moved from quarterback to defensive back, a change that was posted on the Illini athletics website Tuesday.
Taylor's most notable performance under center was in a 31-24 home loss to Purdue last year. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and recorded 17 carries for 32 yards with two fumbles.
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