U of I Football Players Arrested

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IL freshman OL HoJo Watkins was one of three Illini players arrested on charges of home invasion and armed robbery on Wednesday. Even if the gun is fake and they wouldn't be charged with armed robbery, committing a home invasion is a "Class X" felony in IL that would still carry a prison sentence from six to 30 years.

According to police reports sophomores Darta Lee and Zarrian Holcombe and freshman Howard Watkins forced their way into an on-campus residence Wednesday morning.

It is unclear when the alleged incident took place, but it remains under investigation and Lee was booked at 6:27 a.m. CT Wednesday and Holcombe was booked some four hours later. All three are due in bond court Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

"Three individuals entered an apartment masked and the victim recognized one of them by voice". Police said the victim tried to make light of the situation, when one of the other players allegedly brandished the fake gun and demanded cash.


The players left the dorm with an undisclosed amount of money. Court records also show Zarrian Holcombe, 19, and Howard, aka Hojo, Watkins are also facing preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery. All three were arrested in connection with an alleged incident at Bromley Hall, a university dormitory. Holcombe is a receiver who saw action in seven games last season as a true freshman, primarily on special teams.

Lee started in two games last season as a true freshman.

Champaign police have confirmed to the Tribune that the three were arrested.

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