Redbirds Add Pair of FBS Transfers to Roster
Aug. 6, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State football team added a pair of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) transfers Monday, when head coach Brock Spack announced the additions of former Illinois wide receiver Anthony Williams and former Washington tight end Marlion Barnett to the football program.
Williams, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Redbirds and played in a pair of games for the Illini in 2011. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound wideout played against Indiana and Ohio State last season and sat out the 2010 season as a redshirt. During his prep career at Atlantic Shores High School, Williams recorded 59 catches for 848 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior on the way to being named a First-Team All-State Division II selection.
Spack believes Williams will add some much-needed length at the receiver position after the loss of Brandon Newbern to a knee injury during spring camp.
"We were looking for a big receiver and Anthony was hoping for more playing time, so we thought it would be a great fit," Spack said. "He's a tall, athletic player and was familiar with the program after playing for a season with Evan Frierson and Nate Palmer in Champaign. The coaches liked his ability, and we look forward to getting him into the mix at the receiver position."
Barnett, a native of Corona, Calif., will have two years remaining at ISU after playing two seasons with the Huskies. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound tight end saw significant action in 2010, playing in nine of the Huskies' 13 games with four starting assignments. He totaled four catches for 31 yards that season, including two catches for 15 yards in a victory over Syracuse. Coming out of high school, Barnett was rated as the No. 20 tight end prospect in the country by Scout.com.
After recognizing a need to bolster the tight end and h-back position after spring drills, Spack hopes Barnett can contribute as both an in-line blocker and a receiving threat in the Redbird offense.
"We thought we needed a little more depth at tight end and needed another end of the line blocker," Spack said. "He started four games as redshirt freshman at Washington at the tight end/h-back position, but got beat out by a good player last year and was looking for a change and more opportunity to play. We think he can do that at this level and should help bolster our numbers at the position."
Williams and Barnett have joined their teammates for fall workouts and will return to the field Monday at 3 p.m., for the third practice of fall camp.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.