More Observations on the Illini

Many issues plague the Fighting Illini, who need better play in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Here are some fun takes from Tuesday’s practice.

via Football tour notebook: Fun takes from Illinois fall practice — Big Ten Network

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Four Football Recruits Enroll Early At Illinois

The University of Illinois announced today the early enrollment of four members of the 2017 recruiting class. Three of them are early high school graduates, the fourth is a junior college transfer. Below is a list of the four players and information about them:

Lovie Smith a Strong Leader For Illini

Lovie Smith is beginning his second week of games as head coach for  University of Illinois football. His first win came over Murray State, a score of 52-3. But this week Smith’s focus is on North Carolina and his own team. The new coach talks about his team improving each week as the season progresses. Smith has a cool confidence that I have never seen in an Illini football coach. He believes in his team, and wants them to play to the best of their ability. I see a leader here. A man who knows where he wants his team to go, and will do everything he can to get them there. It will be interesting to see how far he can take them.

Illinois Back on The Score

It was announced on April 17, that Illinois football and men’s basketball will soon be broadcast on 670 the Score in Chicago. Because of the station’s commitment with Northern Illinois football, Illinois football will be broadcast on 560 WIND for the 2013 season. The Score will begin broadcasting Illinois football in the fall of 2014. Men’s basketball will be airing on The Score starting with the 2013-14 season. The station will also broadcast the state wide coaches’ shows. With the move Illinois is upgraded to a 50,000 watt radio station that is heard in several states and parts of Canada. The Score is also a more popular station than WIND which has been the Chicago home of the Fighting Illini since 2005. Hopefully, The Score will broadcast all of the Illini pregame shows. Often, those shows have not been broadcast on WIND because of the station’s commitment to payed programming. It looks like a good deal for Illinois, except for one thing. The Score is the radio home of the Chicago White Sox. During the football season a conflict between Illinois football and the White Sox will lead to the White Sox being broadcast every time. Illinois will have to go to another station. Hopefully, it will be one fans in Chicago can easily find. But this deal appears to be a big step in helping Illinois get a bigger piece of the Chicago market. A market that Illinois must be a part of if its programs are going to succeed in the coming years.

Illinois Seeks a Piece of the Chicago Pie

Image On Friday March 29, the University of Illinois football team held a practice at Gaitling Stadium in Chicago. On September 14 the Illini will host Washington at Soldier Field in Chicago. Both events are part of athletic director Mike Thomas’ efforts for Illinois to have a larger share of the Chicago market. It makes sense to do it. The largest percentage the university’s student body still comes from the six county Chicago area. If you make those kids Illinois fans when they are 10, 11, and 12 years old. They’ll be more likely to buy tickets when they get to the University. Illinois has played basketball at the United Center ever since the place was built in the mid 1990s. There is no doubt that that event has created a fan base for the basketball team. Chicago is also the place for the largest group of Illinois alumni in the country. So, having a Chicago presence is a good thing where they’re concerned as well. On top of that, several high school recruits attended the practice as well. In short, making Chicago a priority can be a real benefit to the Illinois football program.