It looks like the Illinois football team is getting another transfer, this time from the SEC.
Matt Zenitz of AL.com posted on Monday afternoon that Alabama offensive lineman Richie Petitbon is transferring out of the Crimson Tide program and is coming to Champaign to play for the Illini. This is a massive pickup for the Orange and Blue.
Petitbon was a 6-foot-4, 301-pound offensive guard from Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. He was rated as a four-star recruit who was the No. 62 player in the class of 2015 and the No. 5 guard in the nation. He was also the best player to come out of Washington, DC as well.
According to Alabama’s school site, Rolltide.com, Petitbon redshirted his first year with the Crimson Tide. He then played in one game during his redshirt freshman season. It looks like he may have played in three games during his redshirt sophomore season. Last season, he was the backup offensive tackle for Alabama. He did have a chance to play in six games.
Zenitz goes on in the article to talk about other schools who were in the mix to land Petitbon as a transfer. Illinois beat out teams like Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. That alone is an impressive get by the Illini coaching staff.
Illinois is going to need some help on the offensive line in 2019. Nick Allegretti departed and he was the best offensive lineman we had on the roster. Thankfully, Petitbon is a graduate transfer and can play immediately. That is a huge bonus for Illinois.
I see the offensive line being something like Doug Kramer at center, Kendrick Green at guard, moving Alex Palczewski over to guard, Larry Boyd or Vedarian Lowe at tackle and then Petitbon stepping in as a starting tackle. That is how I see the offensive line playing out. The depth is going to be fantastic in 2019.
Illinois snagged another great transfer on Monday. Petitbon will help this team tremendously. Let’s continue building and see what type of team we can put on the field this upcoming season.