CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) -- On the eve of the first day of training camp, the Illinois football team hosted their annual media day. We have all you need to know heading into football season here.
"As much as anything there's a lot of mental work to be done too," head coach Lovie Smith said. "There's not a time limit that you have, once the season starts you have a four hour block each day that you can work with the players, that isn't in place right now. so there's a lot of mental work we need to get done. You got to teach them how to be a college player, got to teach them how to be a Fighting Illini football player. But you start that process, there's a lot of time in between to get that done."
Senior running back Kendrick Foster added "I usually say, last year wasn't my break out year, I'm just getting started and I'm just excited about the future of this program. Our O-line is a lot better. We have a great leader, Chayce Crouch. Jeff George is a great leader as well. We have a ton of great guys in the running back room."
"I try to just shy away from personal goals and keep those to myself," sophomore running back Reggie Corbin said. "With team goals, I want to win every game we play. Every single game. I never go out there thinking 'Hey, there's a possibility we might lose', we don't prepare like that either. So I think we deserve to win every game and we're going to try our best to win every game and I expect to win every game."
"Robert, if you have to pick one thing to focus on this offseason as we head into training camp to look at, and what fans should focus one, what is it?"
"It has to be the youth. It has to be the 26 freshman that are coming in. There's only eight seniors on the team, maybe only three or four on the starting lineup. You're going to see more underclassmen on the field than you'll see upper classmen. I think on the roster there's only 23 total upper classmen. So, it's going to be the youth. Fans will get to see the program Lovie envisions fairly quickly because he's going to take some of these true freshmen that he just recruited and he's going to put them on the field and say, sink or swim. It's going to be this immediate overhaul from what was seen under Beckman and Cubit to what fans are going to see under Lovie."
"What can fans look for in this second year, being that it is only his second year?"
"I think you want to see, maybe, if fans think of Ron Zook's second year in 2006. The record didn't show much improvement but on the field you saw what they were trying to do. You saw hints of what that Rose Bowl season was eventually going to look like. So, I think that's the key to this season is this year you want to see less confusion, more precision. You might now see it in the win column, but they want to see improvement."