USC football: WR Josh Imatorbhebhe commits to transfer to Illinois

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe has finally found his transfer destination, joining a pair of former USC football teammates in heading to Illinois.

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Last month, it looked like Matt Fink would be the third USC football player to transfer to Illinois. Fink ultimately didn’t go through with that commitment. But the fact remains, three former Trojans will be Illini in 2019.

That’s because wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe announced his commitment to Illinois on Monday morning, joining linebacker Oluwole Betiku and wide receiver Trevon Sidney.

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“First and foremost I want to thank God for the peace he’s brought me during this time as well as the oeverone else who has been involved in this long and drawn out process,” Imatorbhebhe wrote in a tweet. “Transitions are never easy but the support has definitely helped to lighten the load. Without further ado I’m pleased to announce my commitment to….

“THE University of Illinois; with a plan to get my Masters in Strategic Brand Communications. Thank you Coach Lovie, Coach Rod, Coach Hayes, and entire UI staff. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Imatorbhebhe, who recently graduated from USC, will be a graduate transfer and eligible to play immediate for Illinois. As a redshirt junior, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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Hopes were high for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound four-star receiver out of Georgia when he arrived at USC in 2016. A member of the Trojans’ loaded WR class from that year, he was expected to use his elite athleticism to power up USC’s passing attack.

Unfortunately, Imatorbhebhe was never able to make a breakthrough. Though he flashed at times in practice, he was considered raw to start out with and took a redshirt. In 2017 when more chances were expected to come his way, the reps never materialized.

Ahead of the 2018 season, Imatorbhebhe was in prime position to begin the season as a contributor because of some injury concerns elsewhere in the unit. However, he suffered an ankle injury in a Fall Camp scrimmage and ultimately didn’t take the field all season.

In Illinois, Imatorbhebhe and Sidney will attempt to revamp an Illini passing attack which ranked 11th out of 14 teams in the Big Ten last year. Illinois leading receiver had 33 receptions for 406 yards in total.