The Blue team defeated the orange team 38-7 in the Illinois football spring game. Bret Beherns has more on the quarterback battle.
All eyes have been on the quarterbacks this spring, but another group that might be just as important to Illinois' success is the wide receivers group. The Illini lost their top three receivers to graduation, but WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on some new faces that are opening eyes this spring.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fans hoping for a decision on Illinois' starting quarterback after Saturday's spring game might have to wait a little longer. Head coach Tim Beckman said Tuesday he might wait until fall camp begins before he names a starter. By all accounts, Oklahoma State-transfer Wes Lunt has looked great all spring, and he performed well in Friday's scrimmage at SHG. Lunt seems to still have the inside track on the starting job. Senior Reilly O'Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey are still getting their opportunities to win that job, and that competition might continue for the next several months before the coaching staff makes a final decision.
Highlights and reaction from Friday night's Illinois football scrimmage at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield.
We're a little more than a week away from the spring game, and there has been no decision yet on who will be Illinois' starting quarterback this fall. Wes Lunt, Aaron Bailey and Reilly O'Toole are all still splitting up the reps in spring practice. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has said all along he will be patient with this group before making a decision.
Ryan Cubit was named the director of football student-athlete development Friday. Cubit is the son of Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.
Former Illinois quarterback Juice Williams is joining Tim Beckman's staff, the university announced Monday. Williams will be the new Director of Alumni and Former Player Relations. It will be his job to manage all alumni and former player relations. He will also assist with on-campus recruiting. Williams led Illinois to the 2008 Rose Bowl and broke Illinois' career and single-season records for total offense.
The Illinois football team practiced in pads for the first time Saturday as part of their spring workouts leading up to the Spring Game April 12. Several players from last year's team are also working out, but they're preparing for a future in the NFL. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns has more on former Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown as he gets ready for the NFL Draft.
If you're looking for a decision on a starting quarterback soon, you're probably going to have to wait for at least a few more weeks. While offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said earlier this week he could name a starter by the end of spring, he isn't going to force the issue. Right now, Wes Lunt, Aaron Bailey and Reilly O'Toole are all getting equal reps with the first-team offense, and Cubit says that will probably continue for the next few weeks.
19 NFL scouts from 18 teams were in Champaign Thursday for Illinois' annual Pro Day. Several Illinois seniors worked out in hopes of impressing the scouts before the NFL Draft in May. One guy who had a lot to prove was linebacker Jonathan Brown. He struggled in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, running it in 5.03 seconds. Thursday he improved that time, clocking in at 4.85. Brown also bench 18 reps at 225 pounds. He only did 16 reps at the Combine.
Spring practice began Wednesday for the Illinois football team, and the battle for the starting quarterback job is on. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said Wednesday he hopes to name a starter by the end of the spring, but he will wait until fall camp if a starter doesn't emerge. Three quarterbacks - Wes Lunt, Aaron Bailey and Reilly O'Toole split up equal reps with the first team on day one.
Spring football practice starts Wednesday at the U of I as Tim Beckman prepares for his third year with the Illini. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on some of the storylines to watch as Spring practice begins.
Tim Beckman announced Monday that running back Dami Ayoola and defensive tackle Vontrell Williams are no longer with the Illinois football team. Spring practice starts Wednesday. Ayoola was not with the team last year, but he had hoped to come back this year. Beckman said neither player followed the guidelines and expectations needed to be part of the team.
Illinois LEO Houston Bates has decided to skip his final football season at Illinois and will transfer to a school closer to his home in Louisiana to finish his collegiate playing career. Bates, a native of Covington, La., will graduate in May with his bachelor’s degree in community health, and would be eligible to play immediately at a different school should he choose.
Tim Beckman signed 12 new players on National Signing Day Wednesday, giving him 18 total new faces for next year's incoming class. It's a group that doesn't exactly have the national experts buzzing, but it does fill some positions of need.
Illinois defensive lineman Bryce Douglas was given his release from the U of I Tuesday, and he tells WCIA 3 he is hoping to transfer to another school where he can continue his football career. This comes after a neck injury ended his Illinois playing career early.
Centennial quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald stopped by WCIA to talk with Matt Wettersten about his decision to commit to the Illini.
Centennial 2015 quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald committed to play football at Illinois Saturday. He is a three star recruit according to rivals.com. Fitzgerald also had offers from Yale, Harvard, and others.
Illinois senior offensive lineman Corey Lewis' story has been told many times before. Three torn ACLs and five knee surgeries in five years. He was given a sixth year of eligibility, which he played from start to finish - only to find out after the season he had played the entire year with a torn ACL.
Spring football practice starts in a little more than a month for Illinois. There are a lot of question marks heading into Tim Beckman's third season - none bigger than who will play quarterback. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns caught up with the three leading candidates, who will all be fighting it out for one spot.
Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown has accepted an invitation to this year's Reese's Senior Bowl. The game - and the week leading up to the game - is essentially in NFL Draft showcase for college seniors. Brown was second in the Big Ten in tackles this season - fourth in tackles for loss. The Senior Bowl will be played January 25th in Mobile, Alabama and will be televised on NFL Network.
When Auburn and Florida St. kick off in the BCS National Championship game Monday night, former Illini Jay Prosch will be at the center of it all. Prosch started his career at Illinois before life's turn of events led to him to Auburn. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on Prosch's chance to finish his career on college football's biggest stage.
Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown is heading to the Senior Bowl. The Big Ten's second leading tackler is one of 110 seniors picked to play in the game on January 25 in Mobile, Alabama.
The top 10 sports stories from Central Illinois in 2013 part two.
The top 10 sports stories from Central Illinois in 2013 part one.
Illinois football recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh said this year's recruits are in a "make it or bust" class. The Illini staff signed six junior college players in the early signing period in an effort to add depth and experience at key positions such as wide receiver and defensive line.
Illinois football got a big time commitment from one of the nation's best junior college players Thursday, 6-7, 280 pound defensive tackle Jihad Ward.
Illinois football coach Tim Beckman announced today that offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has agreed to a one-year contract extension that includes an increase in annual salary to $500,000 per year and keeps him on the Fighting Illini sideline through the 2015 season. The extension becomes official pending UI Board of Trustees approval.
Illinois running back Donovonn Young has no plans to transfer and will return to the Illini football team next season, head coach Tim Beckman confirmed Wednesday. There had been some rumors that the Houston, Tex.-native was leaving the team after a lackluster last two seasons, but Beckman says those rumors are false.
One big coaching chance a lot of fans are anticipating is that of defensive coordinator Tim Banks. Illinois ranked 110th (out of 123) in entire FBS in total defense, 104th in scoring defense, and 3rd-to-last in takeaways.
Illinois football coach Tim Beckman will return next season, Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas confirmed to WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten Monday morning. Thomas gave Beckman a vote of confidence, despite his 6-18 record in two seasons.
Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas tells WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten that Tim Beckman will coach the Illini next season. Here is the entire interview as he gives his opinion and analysis on the state of the Illinois football program.
The Illinois football team finished the second year under Tim Beckman 4-8 (1-7). He insists the Illini are getting better.
SHG defeated Montini 38-28 to win the state championship.
The Illinois football team fell at home to Northwestern 37-34 in the final game of the season. The Illini finish the season 4-8 (1-7). Nathan Scheelhaase did set a new Illinois record for total career yards in the contest.
Illinois will not play in a bowl game for the second straight season. The Illini had opportunities but couldn't win six games.
The Illinois senior class will play it's last game with the Illini football team this Saturday against Northwestern. Nathan Scheelhaase will be one of those seniors getting ready for his last game, and as WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten reports, Scheelhaase will have one last chance to cap off his storied career.
University of Illinois senior wide receiver Steve Hull (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Monday for his performance in the Fighting Illini’s Big Ten victory at Purdue on Saturday.
Illinois snapped its 20-game BIg Ten Conference losing streak with a 20-16 win at Purdue Saturday. Illiniboard.com writer Robert Rosenthal sits down to talk about the victory and what's next for the Illini.
Illinois snapped a 20-game Big Ten Conference losing streak with a 20-16 win over Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Illinois' defensive struggles on the football field continue. In fact they rank among the worst in the Big Ten in almost every major defensive category - and the results haven't gotten any better as the season has gone along.
The Illinois football team is looking for one Big Ten win - anything to snap that 20-game conference losing streak. They will have their best chance yet Saturday at Purdue. One key for Illinois, though, will be keeping Nathan Scheelhaase on his feet.
One of the bright spots for the Illinois football team has been the play of Steve Hull. The senior wide receiver ranks sixth in the Big Ten in receiving, and he has stepped up in a big way ever since Ryan Lankford was lost for the year. Head coach Tim Beckman says if Hull can stay healthy, he hopes his senior can get a chance to play in the NFL.
The Illinois football team is getting ready to play Purdue Saturday. The Illini have lost 20 straight Big Ten games. They're looking to end that skid against a team who is also winless in the Big Ten this season.
Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase said even though the Illini are no longer bowl eligible, there's still "something to play for." The Illini dropped their 20th consecutive Big Ten Conference game against Ohio State on Saturday, losing 60-35.
Third ranked Ohio State defeated Illinois 60-35 Saturday dropping the Illini to 0-6 in the Big Ten and 3-7 overall. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He became just the fourth Illinois player to ever thrown 50 career touchdown passes. He also rushed for 46 yards and a score. V'Angelo Bentley returned a punt for a touchdown becoming the first Illini player to ever return a kick-off and a punt for a touchdown in the same season. Illinois plays at Purdue next Saturday,
The Illinois football team fell to Indiana 52-35 Saturday, losing their 19th straight Big Ten game. The Illini defense surrendered over 600 yards of total offense. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for a career-high 450 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a losing effort. Illinois hosts Ohio State next week.
The Illinois football players are calling Saturday's game at Indiana a must-win. They understand what is at stake. Illinois has to win 3 of their last 4 games to become bowl eligible, and with undefeated Ohio State still on the schedule, that makes this game against the Hoosiers that much more important.
Tim Beckman and the Illinois football team say they're actually feeling energized after Saturday's 24-17 overtime loss at Penn State. It was their 18th straight Big Ten defeat, but they feel like they were able to take a lot of positives away from the game.
Tim Beckman's Illini came close to snapping a 17-game Big Ten losing streak. Illinois had a three point lead late in the fourth quarter. Penn State kicked a late field goal and went on to win in overtime 24-17. WCIA 3's Aaron Bennett reports from State College.