Battle continues for starting RT spot

Published 08/25 2014 04:24PM

Updated 08/25 2014 10:40PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As game week arrives, there is really only one starting job still up for grabs, and that is at right tackle where junior Pat Flavin and redshirt freshman Christian DiLauro are fighting for that spot.  Head coach Tim Beckman said Monday Flavin holds a slim edge, but DiLauro has been charging hard.  Beckman wants to let that battle play out this week before making a final decision on Thursday.

"I would give the nod if we were playing tomorrow to Pat Flavin," Beckman said.  "We've still got three more days to compete to be that starting right tackle."

Flavin, a junior, has played in only three games in his two seasons at Illinois, but that little experience gives him the edge over the redshirt freshman.

"Pat's worked extremely hard," said Beckman.  "I think what Pat can do right now is he brings a little more experience, and he understands a little bit more about what we want up front."

DiLauro, meanwhile, is slightly smaller than Flavin at 6-5, 295 pounds, but he's still learning the position.  Only time will tell if he can learn it fast enough to make an impact early this season.

"Christian DiLauro played defensive end in high school," said Beckman.  "His body's grown, and it takes a little time to get used to.  Christian DiLauro is going to be a phenomenal football player.  It's just the learning aspect of it that we've got to get better at."

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