Former Illinois WR Desmond Cain transfers to North Dakota State

Cain was Illinois’ leading receiver as a freshman in 2015. (Getty)
Cain was Illinois’ leading receiver as a freshman in 2015. (Getty)

North Dakota State will have help from a former Big Ten receiver in 2017.

Ex-Illinois wide receiver Desmond Cain said Sunday night he’ll play for the FCS powerhouse next season. Since he’s moving from FBS to FCS, Cain is eligible immediately.

Cain was one of the better receivers in the Big Ten as a freshman in 2015. He had 52 catches for 493 yards and a touchdown. But as Illinois changed coaching staffs after the 2015 season and hired former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith for 2016, Cain’s role was reduced.

While he missed six games because of injury, he had just five catches when he was healthy last season. He said in December that he was exploring a transfer.

Cain’s arrival gives quarterback Easton Stick another weapon to throw to. The Bison return its top three receivers from 2016 in an attempt to get back to the FCS title game after a one-year drought. Following five-straight championships, NDSU lost in the 2016 semifinals to James Madison.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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