The Fighting Illini held their fourth and final split-squad practice Thursday on an unseasonably cool, overcast day on the Memorial Stadium grass fields. Dressed in shorts and shells for the second straight day, the blue team had a quick turnaround with a morning workout right after going Wednesday night, while the orange squad was on the field for Thursday's evening session.
Coach Beckman was pleased with what the split-squad practices accomplished. "Reps, teaching the young kids as fast as we could, building camaraderie among their group and then seeing them come together tomorrow," Beckman said of the split practices. "It's what we've done and it's been successful."
The Illini take the field as a full team for the first time tomorrow and will also be in full pads for the first time this training camp. Look for video of the always intense "gauntlet" drill sometime tomorrow afternoon.
B1G Commish to Visit on Saturday
Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany will be stopping by Saturday morning's Fighting Illini practice. Delaney, who is in his 25th year as commissioner of the B1G, is traveling to each of the 12 conference schools in August to visit with coaches, players and administrators. Delany will speak to the team at 8:30 a.m. prior to taking in the Illini's 9 a.m. practice at Memorial Stadium. Look for photos and coverage of the visit from @IlliniFootball on Twitter, on fightingillini.com Training Camp Central and on the bigten.org blog.
Fan Appreciation Day Set for Sunday
Fighting Illini will host the annual Fan Appreciation Day this Sunday, Aug. 11, from 4-5 p.m. in the Great West Hall at Memorial Stadium. Fans can come meet and get autographs from the coaches and players, and also can get a peek at the new video boards inside the stadium. The event is free to the public and parking is free in the NE State Farm Center lot.