Illinois Fighting Illini Best of 2023: Jer’Zhan Newton Dominates On the D-Line

    Illinois Fighting Illini best of 2023 headlines the top players from Illinois, including DT Jer'Zhan Newton and his commanding presence on the defensive line.

    In conjunction with our College Football’s Best series, highlighting the top plays, players, highlights, and moments from all 133 teams, we’re here to showcase the best the Illinois Fighting Illini have had to offer in 2023. Who has stood out? What units are turning heads?

    And who from Illinois is among the top mentions in our College Football’s Best series this season?

    Illinois Fighting Illini Best of 2023

    At College Football Network, we watch every game. Every player. Every team. And our notebooks are chock full of top players, plays, highlights, and moments. Today, I’m emptying the notebook.

    Below, find Illinois’ noteworthy players, groupings, or units, all listed under a different category: good, great, grand, or wonderful. Every team across the country has put forth their best efforts in 2023, and through four weeks of action, those players deserve notoriety for what they’ve put forth this season.

    Highlighting the best with a line from the one and only Chris Farley, welcome to this season’s Good, Great, Grand, Wonderful!

    For all 133 teams, head over to College Football’s Best of 2023.

    Jump to the rest of the teams from the Big Ten ConferenceIndiana | Iowa | Maryland | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota | Nebraska | Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Rutgers | Wisconsin

    Good: Josh Kreutz, C

    Like his father did for the Chicago Bears, Josh Kreutz has been utterly dominant. On the ground or in pass protection, Kreutz has excelled for Illinois in 2023 as their starting center.

    Great: Xavier Scott, CB

    What a season so far for Xavier Scott. He’s been heavily targeted as opponents are wary of starting anyone else, but Scott’s made opponents regret doing so. He’s nabbed an interception and three pass breakups to his credit.

    Grand: Miles Scott, S

    With three pass breakups and a pick-six to his credit, Miles Scott has looked like the heir apparent to the three draft picks from the Illini secondary a year ago. Scott has flown all over the field and proven nearly impossible to throw on.

    Wonderful: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT

    No surprises here; Jer’Zhan Newton has dominated up the middle for Illinois. No offense has caught up with the defensive prowess from Newton as he’s ripped home for two sacks and double-digit pressures. He’s a man among boys at times.

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