11:08 PM EDT, Mon May 02, 2016
Illini's Ward eagerly awaits NFL draft

Illini's Ward eagerly awaits NFL draft

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. • Illini defensive lineman Jihad Ward was invited to the NFL draft in Chicago but declined, and not just because he’s not likely to hear his name called until Friday, when the second and third rounds play out.
Smith sets expectations as Illini spring drills end

Smith sets expectations as Illini spring drills end

Players, coaches familiar with each other after spring drills.
Nickerson will bring many strengths to Illinois

Nickerson will bring many strengths to Illinois

CHAMPAIGN • Less than five minutes into our first-ever conversation Saturday and it was clear why Hardy Nickerson was named captain of the Cal Bears football team last season.
Weak recruiting has left Illinois with little depth

Weak recruiting has left Illinois with little depth

CHAMPAIGN • Recruiting took a tumble in the final years of Ron Zook’s tenure as Illini football coach. It was the strength of the program when Zook and super recruiter Mike Locksley took Illinois to the Rose Bowl following the…
Illini get a leader on defense

Illini get a leader on defense

Transfer from Cal, Nickerson is expected to be a team leader.

Brown's knee injury hurts Illini RB depth

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. • Despite the loss of Josh Ferguson, who hopes to hear his name called in next week’s NFL draft, running back was thought to be a strong suit of the 2016 Illini football team.
Illini find that playing faster is not always better

Illini find that playing faster is not always better

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. • As the Illini football coaching staff continues to install the X’s and O’s of a new playbook, there are more nuanced matters being taught as well.
Longtime Lunt admirer now protects Illini QB

Longtime Lunt admirer now protects Illini QB

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. • Gabe Megginson admits he was already a fan the first time he came to the Illinois campus and saw quarterback Wes Lunt.
Jeff George Jr. has big day for Illini

Jeff George Jr. has big day for Illini

Jeff George’s son has big day at Illini public workout.
Illini scrimmage Saturday at stadium open to fans

Illini scrimmage Saturday at stadium open to fans

No spring game, but Illini will run scrimmage plays.

Chatrice White transferring from Illinois women's basketball program

Illinois women’s basketball team is losing its best player as Chatrice White has decided to transfer from the program. Earlier this week, the university settled a law suit filed in July by seven former players who had sued alleging racial discrimination. Many of those players had transferred from...
SEC notes: Georgia QB situation undecided so far

SEC notes: Georgia QB situation undecided so far

New coach Smart hopes Saturday's game has answers.
Chicago Tribune Apr 14, 2016

Can Lovie Smith recruit college athletes to Illinois? 'Do you ride a bike?'

It's a question looming over a program whose coach last recruited when the internet was in its infancy, back when people used cellphones to, well, make phone calls. "It's amazing, man," Lovie Smith says in that familiar southern drawl. "'Lovie, you're going to Illinois. You sure you can recruit?...
Illini got late start, will practice Saturday instead of playing spring game

Illini got late start, will practice Saturday instead of playing spring game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. • During Wednesday’s teleconference conducted by the Big Ten Conference, each football head coach gave a brief report on their team’s progress and many of them talked about 15 practices that will culminate in a spring game on…

QB Wes Lunt offers Illinois rare stability amid latest coaching change

During his internship this semester with Illinois' athletics fundraising and ticket offices, senior quarterback Wes Lunt called donors, worked on seating and sold season packages. "Just been interacting over the phone and learning how we do things," Lunt said. "Really got to know the people who...