The Illinois defense suffered a significant blow Tuesday, as head coach Lovie Smith announced likely starting linebacker Jake Hansen will undergo surgery for a “serious knee injury.”
That’s a tough loss for Illinois, which ranked 94th nationally in scoring defense last season. No timetable for Hansen’s return was announced.
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) August 22, 2017
“Jake is going to be an outstanding football player. That’s just postponed a bit,” Smith added in a subsequent tweet.
Hansen was a consensus 3-star recruit in the Class of 2016 and was penciled in as a starter at linebacker for the Illini’s Sept. 2 opener against Ball State, per Scott Richey of The News-Gazette.
Bro's comeback is gonna be insane. His shine will come, just a small detour https://t.co/19MTr7dUBm
— Tre Watson (@ILL_Tre33) August 22, 2017