The Illini held practice number four on Monday afternoon at Camp Rantoul. After three days of split squad workouts at the Memorial Stadium practice fields, the Illini kicked off their 13th year at Camp Rantoul with their first full squad practice.
It was clear that the intensity picked up on Monday, and it figures to go even higher on Tuesday as the Illini will strap on full pads for the first time this fall. Be on the lookout for the always entertaining Oklahoma Drill video tomorrow night.
As for Monday, the Illini worked out in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on a surprisingly mild day at the former Chanute Air Force Base. Practice came after several hours of meetings and watching film and is followed by more meetings and film sessions. Camp Rantoul truly is "wall-to-wall ball" and Zook and the players wouldn't have it any other way.
Unfortunately, the news wasn't all good on Monday. Zook revealed after practice that sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Carter's playing career is over after having a benign brain tumor removed during the offseason. Carter plans to remain enrolled at Illinois and will be on medical scholarship. Additionally, former Illini and current Detroit Lion running back Mikel Leshoure will miss the entire 2011 NFL season with an Achilles tear. Leshoure, who broke the Illinois single-season rushing record in 2010, was just one week into is rookie season with the Lions. Current Illini safety Supo Sanni, who is back on the practice field after suffering an Achilles tear last August, has an idea of what Leshoure is going through.
Finally, check out the first episode of Camp Rantoul, Season 2. Shot and produced by Frank Lenti of Illini Productions, the five-part series give incredible behind-the-scenes access of the Fighting Illini during training camp.