The Illini had some special guests at Wednesday morning's practice.
University of Illinois president Michael Hogan and new Illinois Director
of Athletics Mike Thomas were both at Memorial Stadium for team's 8:30 am workout. Both
spoke to the team briefly expressing their support heading into
Saturday's season-opener against Arkansas State (2:30 pm CT, Big Ten
Network). The Illini have just one full practice left on Thursday and then a walk-through on Friday before kicking-off the 2011 season.
Though neither has been at Illinois long (Hogan a little over a year and Thomas just a few days), both have made their presence felt with the football program. Thomas, who was hired on Aug. 10 and officially started at Illinois on Aug. 29, visited an Illini practice at Camp Rantoul on Aug. 18, while Hogan was presentt in the lockerroom at the Texas Bowl and is even in this year's Illini team photo.
Finally, check out interviews with Illini coach Ron Zook, offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning as game day approaches.