I have to start off today's Training Camp update with the video that took Illini Nation by storm on Friday morning featuring junior quarterback Reilly O'Toole trying to get the football office excited because it's GAME DAY! The video was the brainchild of football graduate assistant Nubis Padhye and, in addition to O'Toole, also features incredible acting from football GA Patrick Embleton, offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, Coach Beckman and tight ends coach Alex Golesh, assistant director of player personnel Matt Sinclar and Padhye himself. Oscar nominations coming? I have no doubts.
Here's the video, which had over 25,000 views in its first 3 days (count had to be reset on 8/28):
"I think it was a great idea," O'Toole said. "It was all Nubis' idea and the film guys did a great job with it."
The Illini also took part in Illinois Sights and Sounds, the annual event at Memorial Stadium to introduce incoming University of Illinois freshmen to the ins and outs of being an Illini. Coach Beckman, along with men's basketball coach John Groce and women's basketball coach Matt Bollant, addressed the students and gave a tutorial on how to properly do the I-L-L...I-N-I chant. The Marching Illini played the classics, "Oskee, Wow, Wow", "Illinois Loyalty", "Hail to the Orange", etc, and five football players took on nine freshman students in a tug of war (the football players won) on a fun-filled afternoon at the stadium.
The Illini have a closed game day walkthrough on Saturday at the stadium before going in to their usual game week schedule and starting classes on Monday. Friday's post-practice interviews with Coach Beckman and Mason Monheim are below.