Illini

Illini RB Mike Epstein: "It was a tough journey"

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) -- Illinois running back Mike Epstein is finally back to normal. The sophomore standout hurt his foot last season, forcing him to miss the final seven games of the year. The Florida native has been full-go during summer workouts, including Sunday's Lift for Life fundraiser that helped raise more than $30,000 for rare diseases.

"Tough, it was a tough journey, frustrating journey but at the end of the day it was best for me, God's plan and come back better than ever and stronger and just more grateful for the game," Epstein said. "Offseason has been great. This is probably the hardest summer that I've been here and everyone else has been saying the same thing. So we're in great shape, great conditioning."

Despite only playing in five games, Epstein still led the team in rushing last season with 346 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He became just the fifth freshman in program history to lead the team in rushing for a season.

Illinois starts fall camp Aug. 3rd on campus.


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