Practice 3A: Wednesday Morning
The team awoke Wednesday morning to news of a water main break that led to a boil order in the part of Rantoul around the former Chanute Air Force Base - the exact location where the Illini hold Camp Rantoul. But the team's support staff quickly mobilized, with director of football operations Tim Knox working with the athletic training staff to make sure practice could go on as normal. Assistant athletic trainer Chris Brown drove back to Champaign, filled up as many five-gallon coolers as the team would need for the morning practice and returned to Rantoul in time for the Blue team's session.
The practice went off without incident and water pressure was sufficient for everyone to shower after a warm, humid practice. But Knox and the staff had put together a plan to bus everyone back to campus for the day's first practice and lunch. Fortunately, that plan wasn't needed.
On the field, the Blue team went through its final split practice, experiencing a quick turnaround after having the afternoon session on Tuesday. Jon Davis made an acrobatic catch down one sideline near the end of practice, one that may go down as the best catch of training camp and that energized the offense to finish the session strong.
Practice 3B: Wednesday Evening
The final split practice took place Wednesday evening as the orange team took the field at 4:30 p.m. About halfway through practice they had do deal with a small but intense storm that rolled in. Nearby lightning strikes and about five minutes of heavy forced the Illini into the locker room for safety reason. But after the 10-minutes "halftime" as coach Beckman called it, the Illini returned to the field for 7-on-7 drills and the team portion of practice while the blue group looked on after their lifting session was over.
The Illini will join up for their first full-squad practice on Thursday morning at Camp Rantoul. Thursday's practice is scheduled to run from 9-11 a.m. and is open to the public.
Training Camp Video Feature #1
Creative specialist Frank Lenti Jr.'s first training camp feature of 2012 is finished and it focuses on the idea behind the team's split-squad practices early in camp. Check it out below: