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    Post-Practice Interivews: Coach Beckman | OC Cubit | LB Brown

    The Illini held their fourth practice in 40 hours on Thursday morning, after going on Tuesday night, twice on Wednesday and then taking the Camp Rantoul fields at 9 a.m. today. The team wore shorts and shoulder pads and did a lot of situational work - two-minute drill, third downs, red zone, etc. - on a beautiful, mid-70s day in Rantoul. 

    "We've had 9 practices in 24 hours," Beckman said after Thursday morning's practice. "That's the grind we've been talking about. They've practiced like pros and have had a great mindset. You have to do what you need to do to get ready for the next one. Now they'll get a little bit of a break since they don't have practice until tomorrow morning." 

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    The Illini had some guests on hand for Wednesday's two-a-day at Camp Rantoul. The Big Ten Network preseason tour bus rolled in to town for the morning practice, which was in full pads. Then for the evening workout, which was in shorts and shoulder pads, several Rantoul tailgaters the Rantoul Falcons youth football team were on hand. 

    Training Camp Day 9 Notes & Links

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    Beckman Post-Practice Interview | Training Camp Central

    Following Monday's double practice, which included a scrimmage, Illinois had a single afternoon session on Tuesday. The team once again worked on special teams for a good portion of the early segment of practice before splitting up into individual position drills. Then they came back together for the team period.

    Training Camp Day 8: First Day in Rantoul

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    Photo Gallery | Training Camp Central

    Interviews: Beckman AM | Beckman PM | OC Cubit | RB Young

    After moving to Camp Rantoul late Sunday, the Illini hit the practice fields off U.S. Route 45 at 9 a.m. Monday. Illinois worked extensively on special teams fundamentals for the first portion of practice, then moved into individual drills, 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and team sections. 

    Training Camp Day 7: Media & Fan Appreciation Day

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    Illinois had its first day without practice during fall camp on Sunday, but they didn't have a complete day off. Coaches and players took part in media day activities and got to meet and mingle with Illini fans during the annual Fan Appreciation Day festivities.

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    Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany paid a visit to Saturday morning's practice in Champaign. Delany spoke to the team in the Memorial Stadium squad room, where he was presented with an Illinois helmet and #25 jersey in honor of his 25 years as B1G commissioner, before taking in practice with Big Ten chief communications officer Diane Dietz, Illinois executive senior associate AD Jason Lener and former Illinois AD Ron Guenther, who is now a consultant for the Big Ten. Delany also did a few interviews, including one with Illini Productions, during the sixth stop of his 12-stop conference tour during training camp. Full recaps and photos from each visit can be found on the Big Ten Blog at bigten.org. 

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    Two big firsts took place on Friday at practice No. 5 of Training Camp. After four days of split-squad workouts, the Illini practiced together as a full unit for the first time this season. They also wore full pads for the first time, which means you could finally hear the sound of pad popping, particularly in the much anticipated "Gauntlet" drill. Needless to say, the coaches and players were fired up about their first opportunity to strap on the pads and do some hitting.  


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    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. 

    Training Camp Day 3 Links & Notes

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    Post-Practice Interviews: 

    Coach Beckman | DC Banks | OL Coach Ricker | LB Monheim

    The Fighting Illini passed the halfway point of the four split practices on a warmer, humid Wednesday. After two days of wearing only helmets, the team strapped on shoulder pads for the first time on Wednesday. The Orange team had the quick turnaround after practicing on Tuesday evening, while Blue waited until Wednesday afternoon. Thursday will be the last day of the split practices and the team will go in full pads for the first time on Friday morning.

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    Post-Practice Interviews:
    The Fighting Illini had their second of four split-squad sessions on Tuesday, with the "blue" team practicing at 8:30 a.m. and the "orange" squad taking the grass practice fields next to Memorial Stadium at 4:25 pm on a cool, overcast day in Champaign. With a large group of freshmen and newcomers, the Illini coaching staff continued go through the basics and take advantage of the extra reps the split-squad practices provide. The third of four split practices will take place on Wednesday, the last day before the team can wear full pads, with the order flipping so the orange goes in the morning and the blue in the afternoon.

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