Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Signing Day Part I (and B-ball vs. NU)

This is a BIG DAY for Illinois athletics. For the football team, signing day has finally arrived. Coach Zook and his staff have assembled a great recruiting class that ranks in the Top 20 in the country. When is the last time we saw an article with this headline for football recruiting? Answer: I don't recall ever seeing one like it but for those of you who are older than me, it has been more than a decade and probably even longer than that.

The hard part of recruiting for this class is done and all the coaches can do now is wait the formal, signed national letters of intent to come across the fax machine today. While there is always the risk of surprises on signing day, let's hope the only surprise came earlier this week when quarterback Clint Brewster changed his mind and committed to Minnesota (where his father is the new coach).

I can't wait to see these guys on the field over the next four years. Check the blog again later today for some additional thoughts on football recruiting from Chief.

In addition to the excitement of signing day for the football team, Illinois has an important basketball game tonight at Northwestern. Like just about every game for the remainder of the season, this is a must win game for the Illini. Here are a couple of previews about the game from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, respectively. Also, here is one from the Daily Herald that contains information at the end about the Illini's continuing battle with injuries.

Couple of miscellaneous side notes:

--This is what often frustrates me about the NBA. I support John Paxson's decision wholeheartedly on this one. I can only hope that the comments Thomas made in the second article are more reflective of him than the first article, which was written by Sam Smith.

--Interesting perspective on the Bears and Rex Grossman. The thing that stood out to me in this article: The Bears had enough money under the salary cap that they could have signed Drew Brees last off-season!!! I know hindsight is 20/20 but come on, that should have been a no-brainer. They would likely be getting fitted for the Super Bowl rings if they had made that move. To win a championship, you have to go all in (as they would say in poker). I hope Jerry Angelo considers that and takes it as a lesson learned.

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