The Fighting Illini were in full pads and did some hitting for the first time at Training Camp on Friday morning in Rantoul. Illinois held a two-and-a-half hour practice in cool, windy conditions at the former Chanute Air Force Base. During the Red Zone portion near the end of practice, the Illini were full contact, doing their first hitting at Camp Rantoul. Follow practice, head coach Tim Beckman joined Jonathan Brown in the cold tubs to help ease the pain of a busy five days in Rantoul.
At the end of practice, Coach Beckman "de-striped" another newcomer. As we wrote after yesterday's practice, Illini newcomers have a single white stripe on their practice helmets. If the coaching staff deems them worthy, newcomers can earn their way to being "de-striped" through hard work during training camp. The action signifies that the player is no longer being considered a newcomer to the team.
Senior safety and NIU transfer Tommy Davis was the first player to get "de-striped" following Thursday's practice. On Friday, freshman running back Dami Ayoola became the second. Ayoola's "big brother' - redshirt freshman running back Josh Ferguson - helped Ayoola remove his stripe and attach it to the dry-erase board, where Ayoola signed it in front of the team.
New Practice Look
The Illini were sporting a slightly different look at Friday's practice. For the past several years, Illinois' practice pants were old versions of the team's game pants in the late 90's and early 2000's - orange with a blue-white-blue stripe on the sides. This year, the Illini will wear a white version of the current game pants. They have more than one set of game pants, so the white practice pants won't be the same as their white game pants.
Behind the Scenes Video Feature
Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look as tight ends coach Alex Golesh and the Illini tight ends break down film after Thursday's practice. Great work again by Frank Lenti, Jr., and Illini productions.