BTN Bus Tour Stops By & De-Striper Update

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photo 3a.JPGTraining Camp Central

The Fighting Illini held practice No. 15 Friday afternoon on a beautiful day in Champaign-Urbana. The team went through drills for 40 minutes before scrimmaging for a little over an hour inside Memorial Stadium. Following the live scrimmage, the Coach Beckman had the field goal unit practice three kicks while the rest of the team stood around them making distractions. Snapper Zak Pedersen, holder Miles Osei and kicker Nick Immekus were unfazed, as all three kicks sailed through the uprights, ending the practice on a high note.

photo 3[2].JPGBTN Bus Tour Stops in Champaign
The Big Ten Network football bus tour made its annual stop to Illini training camp, doing interviews and getting practice footage for its 2012 Illinois season preview show, which will air on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 9 pm CT. The BTN football crew of Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and former Illini Howard Griffith took in practice and interviewed four coaches and four players.

Head coach Tim Beckman, defensive coordinator Tim Banks and co-offensive coordinators Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales each took a turn on the BTN set. They were followed by offensive lineman Graham Pocic, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, defensive end Michael Buchanan and cornerback Terry Hawthorne, who each took questions for about 5 minutes from the crew. BTN writer Tom Deinhart also did a couple interviews and took in practice along with BTN stats guy Chris Antonnaci.

photo 5[2].JPGFollowing his on-set interview, Scheelhaase went out to the BTN tour bus, which is decked out in a full-bus graphic featuring a player from each B1G team, to sign his likeness. 

"De-Stripers" Now at 14
Four more Illini newcomers have been "de-striped" since our last update on Wednesday, bringing the total thus far to 14. As we first wrote on Aug. 9, 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. "De-stripers" are announced at the end of practice, with the newcomer's "big brother" (a veteran member of the team) assisting in the process.

photo 3[1].JPGNewcomers who have been "de-striped"
DB Tommy Davis - 8/9
RB Dami Ayoola - 8/10
LB Mike Svetina - 8/11 morning
WR Devin Church - 8/11 afternoon
LB Mason Monheim - 8/12
OL Joe Spencer - 8/13 morning
LB T.J. Neal - 8/13 morning
WR Justin Hardee - 8/13 evening
DB V'Angelo Bentley - 8/14
DB Jevaris Little - 8/15
DB Taylor Barton - 8/16 morning
RB LaKeith Walls - 8/16 morning
DT Teko Powell - 8/16 evening
OL Robbie Bain - 8/17

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That bus is definitely decked out - so cool!

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