Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Heading to Camp
- J Leman (LB) - Minnesota Vikings
- Justin Harrison (S) and Jason Reda (PK) - Cleveland Browns
- Chris Norwell (DT) - New England Patriots
- Kevin Mitchell (S) - Washington Redskins
- Akim Millington (OT) - New Orleans Saints
- Russ Weil (FB) - St. Louis Rams
The talking heads and columnists gave the Steelers relatively high marks for picking Mendenhall. I realize that the draft is all hype, but I'll take positive coverage for our boys any day. All the best to these boys as they compete for NFL roster spots.
And, all the best to Good Hope Orange and family on the arrival of a healthy baby boy Sunday, April 27. I'm sure he's already getting ready to cheer on the Illini this fall...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Enjoy Pittsburgh, Rashard! Hope you get quality carries from Ben...
Labels: Rashard Mendenhall
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Another Draft Note
Labels: Rashard Mendenhall
Monday, April 21, 2008
On another note, the NFL draft this weekend may very well have an Illini in the first round. And despite ankle surgery, J Leman believes a team should take a chance on him, too. The combination of Leman's size -- on the small side for an NFL linebacker -- and his inability to participate in spring workouts, make him a longshot to be picked in the draft. But his attitude and determination may help him earn a roster spot next fall. Good luck, J!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Spring in the Air
- Coach Zook is excited about the progress he's seen this spring
- A spring players-only meeting signaled that some 2008 team members are stepping up to fill the void left by seniors
- Rashard Mendenhall continues to be projected as a first-round pick, a positive sign for an emerging program
- Bruce Weber did not name an MVP at the spring banquet, explaining that the level of performance expected at Illinois was not reached
- Rodney Alexander has decided to transfer next year
- Steve Holdren will not return due to injuries
And, a few former Illini will be playing in the NBA post-season -- likely against each other.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
NCAA Championship Game plus Martez Wilson
I have to say that negotiation tactic or not, does it really surprise anyone that almost immediately after his team won the national championship, Bill Self leaves the door wide open with regards to the Oklahoma State job? That is who he is and it hasn't changed during the five years he has been at Kansas.
For those of you (Alma Mater) already looking forward to college football season, check out today's article in the Chicago Tribune about the Illini's Martez Wilson. He should be fun to watch over the next two to three years.
Until later, GO ILLINI!
Monday, April 07, 2008
A Slam Dunk
Also, congrats to Chief and family on the birth of a healthy boy on Friday, April 4. He's a great looking kid, and I can already tell he will look good in orange! Good Hope Orange and family are expecting a new addition soon, as well... I love meeting the next generation of Illini fans...
Labels: Brian Randle
Welcome to the Big Ten
Welcome to the Big Ten. Given your recent proximity and past ties, you should have a good feel for the league. You should be able to manage your transition from the Big East to the Big Ten fairly well. Yes, we have the reputation of being a physical, grind-it-out defensive league, but with so many fresh faces on the sidelines, we are constantly evolving.
You will find recruiting to be a challenge, with Painter and company building momentum to your north, Izzo maintaining a strong program a bit further up the road, and Matta and his NIT champions working toward building a consistant leading program to your east. To your west, you will find passionate fans (not-so) patiently waiting for in-state talent to show up in Champaign that will be able to close out the games they just missed against your new team this past season. And don't forget that your old neighbor Bo has consistently been at the top of this tough league.
But your biggest challenge will be the state of affairs in Bloomington. Just in case you missed it, the school has had a couple coaches with less-than-sterling reputations. Your predecessor is leaving you a tangled mess of violations, a late-season collapse and the hole left by a draft-bound leading scorer. Your new fan base has sky-high expectations, thanks to the reign of ESPN's newest basketball analyst. And they want to win -- no matter what.
I must say I was a bit surprised you took this job, but you say this was a decision of the heart. You will need heart to survive the year ahead, and avoid finding yourself in a situation similar to former Big Ten coach Munson. I just ask that you add respectability to the conference as a whole.
I would wish you well as you take on this new position, but you need to know that the rivarly between IU and U of I is intense, a bit heated even, so I just can't bring myself to go that far. We will see you next winter at Assembly Hall (either one), and we look forward to welcoming you to the league much the same way we welcomed Tubby this past season.
Labels: Tom Crean