One of the funnier things about having a split squad for practice is that during the part of practice where the offense runs plays against tackling dummies and the defense runs their schemes against barrels, there aren't enough offensive backups to hold all the necessary dummies. So offensive graduate assistant Jon Carvin and a few student managers put on some pads and served as "defensive players." Carvin looked pretty good coming off the edge on a blitz I saw.
It was great to see former Illini receiver DaJuan Warren toward the end of practice, as well as a few players' parents. One permanent fixture around these open practices is Nathan Scheelhaase's parents, Nate Creer and LouAnn Scheelhaase, since they live in Champaign. But defensive back Nick Forzley's dad and grandfather made the drive down from Lemont to take in practice. They planned ahead, bringing lawn chairs and a small cooler.
One last thing - be sure to check out the post-practice videos from today if you haven't already:
Only one more practice left in Champaign before everyone reports to Rantoul Sunday afternoon. Saturday's workout starts at 1 and is scheduled to wrap up at 4:50 p.m.