Three Illini Football Players Arrested on Armed Robbery, Home Invasion Charges

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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.

The Champaign County Sheriff's Office website indicates that the players are in custody on preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery. All three are due in bond court Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Per Mary Schenk of the News-Gazette, Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer provided further details on the incident: "Three individuals entered an apartment masked and the victim recognized one of them by voice".

"It's not a very smart thing to do", Champaign Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Daniels said, according to, "to go into someone's house armed, and even with a fake gun with masks on". "He pulled his mask off and tried to make light of the situation". Lee was booked at 6:27 a.m. CT Wednesday, Holcombe at 10:22 a.m., and Watkins at 10:58 a.m.

Coach Lovie Smith has issued a statement saying they are suspended from team activities. "We continue to gather information and will take appropriate steps based on what we learn".

Update: The third Illini player was arrested and booked Wednesday morning.

Lee started two games on the offensive line for the Fighting Illini as a true freshman last season, and he was expected to be in the mix for a starting spot in 2017.

Lee and Holcombe will each be sophomores this fall, while Watkins will be a freshman after enrolling early and working out with the team this spring.

Looks like there's a third player, Howard Watkins, involved as well.