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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Nine former Illini were on active rosters for the Divisional Round and four will be playing in this weekend's Conference Finals. Four former Illini, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, FS Tavon Wilson, DE Michael Buchanan and CB Justin Green, all New England Patriots, will be playing for a trip to the Super Bowl in Denver this Sunday (2 pm CT on CBS). See how all nine Illini fared during the Divisional Weekend.

    Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots - Started and had one catch for six yards in the Patriots' 43-22 victory. His biggest impact was as a blocker for the Patriots' rushing attack, which churned out 234 yards on the ground against the Colts. Watch Hoomanawanui pave the way for LaGarrette Blounts' big day (166 yards and 4 TDs), including his second 2-yard TD run in the first quarter, his 73-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and his 30-yard run in the fourth quarter.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    A total of 12 former Illini are on active rosters of NFL playoff teams. During the Wildcard weekend, eight of those 12 players were in action, while nine will take part in next week's Divisional round. Here are the highlights from Wildcard weekend.

    Hugh Thornton, OL, Indianapolis Colts - Started and helped the Colts pile-up 536 total yards to overcome a 28-point second-half deficit in a 45-44 win over the Chiefs. Watch Thornton (#69) pull and help pave the way for a 10-yard Donald Brown TD run. Thornton also was involved in Andrew Luck's can't-miss improv TD. Thornton and the Colts will travel to New England to face the No. 2 seed Patriots in the Divisional round (Saturday, 7:15 pm CT on CBS). 

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Chargers DE Corey Liuget and Chiefs WR A.J. Jenkins both had big games in Week 17, while 12 former Illini punched their tickets for the playoffs, which start next week. 

    Headed to the playoffs are four Patriots (DE Michael Buchanan, CB Justin Green, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, CB Tavon Wilson), three Chiefs (OL Jeff Allen, OL Jon Asamoah, WR A.J. Jenkins), two Saints (DE Glenn Foster, RB Pierre Thomas), two Colts (CB Vontae Davis, OL Hugh Thornton) and one Charger (DE Corey Liuget).

    Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers - Liuget produced a big game for the playoff-bound Chargers, recording four tackles and this sack on Chase Daniel for a six-yard loss.  Liuget finished the regular season with 42 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 16, Tavon Wilson returned his first pick-six of his career, Whitney Mercilus tallied his seventh sack of the season, and Alan Ball reeled in his fifth career interception.

    Tavon Wilson, FS, New England Patriots - In his 12th game of the season, Wilson recorded his first career pick-six, returning the interception for 76 yards. It was his fifth career interception. Wilson also had one tackle in the Patriots 41-7 win over the Ravens.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 15, Michael Hoomanawanui made the highlight reel with a one-handed touchdown grab and Rashard Mendenhall found the end-zone twice.

    Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots - Hoomanawanui grabbed some media attention this past weekend when he reeled in a nifty one-handed grab in the endzone for a 13-yard touchdown. Hoomanawanui will continue to see added snaps down the stretch with Rob Gronkowski out for the season.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 14, Corey Liuget recorded another sack and Alan Ball tallied his fourth career interception.  

    Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers - Started in the Chargers 37-14 win over the Giants, while tallying three total tackles. Liuget also had half of a sack, as Eli went down for -11 yards. The sack pushes his 2013 total to 4.5 and career total to 12.5 just three seasons into his professional career.

    Alan Ball, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars  - Ball started and had four tackles and an interception in the Jaguars' 27-20 win over the Houston Texans this past Thursday night. It was his first interception of the season, the fourth of his career, pushing the Jaguars to their fourth victory in the last five games after starting 0-8.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 13, Rashard Mendenhall rushed for a season high, AJ Jenkins emerged with three catches and Whitney Mercilus got his sixth sack of the season.

    Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Despite not posting a touchdown in Sunday's road matchup against the Eagles, Mendenhall was able to record a season-high in rushing yards with 76 yards on 18 carries. The second-most rushing yards Mendenhall achieved this season came back in week two when he ran on the ground for 66 yards against Detroit. The Cardinals lost Sunday's game to the Eagles in Philadelphia 24-21.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Week 12 highlights include Pierre Thomas having another big game for the Saints, Rashard Mendenhall rushing for a TD in the Cardinals' win and Whitney Mercilus with another sack for the Texans.  

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas had another big game, piling up 130 total yards (73 rushing on 10 carries and 57 receiving on five catches) in the Saints' 17-13 win over the Falcons on Thursday night. Thomas leads the team in rushing (486 yards) and is second on the squad in catches (56 rec. 406 yards) for the season. Watch Thomas stiff arm a Falcon's defender for a big gain

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 11, offensive linemen David Diehl, Hugh Thornton and Tony Pashos all helped their teams to victories, while running backs Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall led their teams to wins as well.

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas had another strong week of production for the Saints, rushing 11 times for 49 yards while receiving another 35 yards on five catches (five targets) in the Saints 23-20 win over the 49ers. Through 10 games this season Thomas has 762 all-purpose yards and 4 touchdowns.

    Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Mendenhall had 13 yards receiving in addition to 14 yards rushing including this 5-yard touchdown, helping the Cardinals improve to 6-4 with a win over Jacksonville. The touchdown was his first since week seven. In addition, Mendenhall garnered 35-of-69 offensive snaps.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 10, Pierre Thomas of the New Orleans Saints had a big game Sunday night against Dallas, scoring twice in the Saints big win, while Alan Ball and Akeem Spence helped the Jaguars and Buccaneers, respectively, earn their first wins of the season.

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas had a monster week, playing the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Thomas had 111 all-purpose yards, 87 of them coming on the ground. He found the end zone twice, once on a one-yard run and again on a one-yard reception, aiding in the Saints 49-17 rout over the Cowboys.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 9, Offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah helped the Chiefs achieve a franchise tying record of 9-0, Pierre Thomas caught a season high 66 receiving yards and Corey Liuget recorded his third game of three-plus tackles this season.

    Jeff Allen, OT, Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Allen and Asamoah once again both started in their eighth respective games of the season as the Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills 23-13 to tie a franchise record start of 9-0. The former Illini tandem anchored the offensive line and only surrendered one sack.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. In week 8, Offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah moved the Chiefs to 8-0, Pierre Thomas rushed for a season high in his third start for the Saints and Glenn Foster picked up his second sack of the season.

    Jeff Allen, OT, Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Allen and Asamoah both started in their seventh respective games of the 2013 season as the Chiefs defeated the Cleveland Browns 23-17. Yet again, the duo led the Kansas City offensive line as the Chiefs racked up 136 yards on the ground in 29 attempts. Starting the season with an 8-0 record, the Chiefs are now just one win short of tying the best start in franchise history of nine consecutive victories occurring in 2003. Watch Jeff Allen pull around and give a nice block on this 17 yard run.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. In week 7, Vontae Davis provided outstanding pass defense against the formerly undefeated Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Offensive linemen Jeff Allen andJon Asamoah pushed the Chiefs to 7-0, and Corey Liuget picked up his second sack of the season.

    Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts - Davis helped keep the high powered offense of Denver in check Sunday night in the Colts 39-33 victory. He recorded three tackles and two pass deflections and was named Defensive Player of the Week in Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback.

    Jeff Allen, OT, Jon Asamoah, OG, Kansas City Chiefs - Both Asamoah and Allen started in their sixth respective games of the season. They anchored the offensive line into achieving yet another 100+ yard rushing game. With seven wins to start the season, the Chiefs are approaching their best start in franchise history of nine straight wins occurring in 2003.
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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. It was a good week for tight ends and running backs as both Hoomanawanui and Cumberland both reeled in four catches for 50+ yards while Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall each averaged at least four yards per carry. Meanwhile the duo of Asamoah/Allen has pushed the Chiefs to 6-0 for the first time since 2003.

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas ran for 51 yards on 11 carries and caught one pass on one target for 29 yards, his longest of the season, in Sunday's last second loss at New England. Thomas averaged 4.6 yards per carry, his best outing since week 2.

    Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets - Once again Cumberland was productive despite a small number of targets (five) as he caught four passes for 59 yards in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh. Cumberland has now posted 50+ receiving yards in the past two games. Watch Cumberland reel in a 29-yard reception here.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Pierre Thomas thrived back in the state of Illinois, Jeff Cumberland and Rashard Mendenhall scored their second touchdowns of the season, and the duo of Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah helped the Chiefs move to 5-0 to highlight Illini in the NFL in week five.

    Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - Thomas had 94 total yards (36 rushing, 55 receiving) and two touchdowns Sunday in the Saints 26-18 win over the Bears. Thomas' 19 carries were a season high and his most since 2010. He also set a season high in catches (9), receiving yards and scores, finding the end zone on a two-yard catch and a 25-yard screen play. Watch Thomas' 25 yard TD reception and his two-yard TD reception.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Sacks were the name of the game in week four as Whitney Mercilus, Corey Liuget, Martez Wilson and Michael Buchanan were all able to get to the quarterback at least once. In addition, Vontae Davis notched his first interception of the season for the Colts and Jeff Cumberland had a 34-yard TD catch for the Jets.

    Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts - Davis made his presence known against the Jaguars on Sunday, recording three tackles and two pass defections. Davis also reeled in his first interception of the season.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Week three was a week of firsts as Akeem Spence and Glenn Foster both recorded their first career sacks and A.J. Jenkins tallied his first career reception.

    Akeem Spence, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Spence had a productive day, securing a career high four tackles and recording his first career NFL sack, taking down Tom Brady. Patriots won 23-3.

    Glenn Foster, DL, New Orleans Saints - Foster played in his first game of the 2013 season and recorded his first career NFL sack.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. In week two action, Rashard Mendenhall scored the game-winning TD for the Cardinals, Michael Buchanan recorded his first career sack and linemen Jeff Allen and Jon Asamoah helped pave the way for the Chiefs surprising 2-0 start.

    Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Mendenhall ran for a game-high 66 yards on 15 carries and caught two passes for 28 yards in Sunday's 25-21 win over Detroit. Mendenhall's one-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining erased a two-point deficit and gave Arizona their first win of the season. 

    Illini Great Dick Butkus on Tuesday's BTN Live

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    Former Illini and Chicago Bear great Dick Butkus appeared on the Big Ten Network's BTN Live program on Tuesday. Butkus also will be appearing at a luncheon on Thursday and will be a part of the coin toss at Saturday's Chicago Homecoming game between Illinois and No. 19 Washington at Soldier Field.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. The 2013 NFL season started over the weekend with 24 former Illini on NFL rosters. Whitney Mercilus had five tackles and sack to help the Texans to a Monday night win over San Diego, while Akeem Spence, Hugh Thornton and Michael Buchanan all made their professional debuts.  

    Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans - Mercilus registered a career high 5 tackles and a sack on Monday Night Football in a thrilling 31-28 last second win over the Chargers. Watch Mercilus sack of Phillip Rivers

    Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals - In his debut with the Cardinals, Mendenhall rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries for an average of 3.8 and a long of 11 yards. In addition, Mendenhall was in the backfield for 35 of the Cardinals 71 offensive snaps during Arizona's 27-24 loss to St. Louis. Mendenhall also caught one pass for four yards.

    Gameday Central | Training Camp Central

    Exactly one week from the season-opener against Southern Illinois, the Fighting Illini got a sneak peek at what the logistics of a game day at Memorial Stadium will be like. The players suited up in game uniform and took the field for a mock scrimmage of about 50 plays. After the scrimmage, the Marching Illini band and Illinettes dance team played some of their game day tunes, much to the enjoyment of the team. All the classics were played, such as "Illinois Loyalty," "Oskee Wow Wow," "War Chant," "Seven Nation Army," "William Tell Overture," and much more. Led by running back Donovonn Young, the team even showed off some dance moves for the band. 


    Training Camp Central

    Interviews: Beckman | O'Toole | Monheim

    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): 

    Training Camp Day 18 Notes & Links

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    practice 8-22-13.JPGPost-Practice Interviews: Beckman | Barr | Cajuste

    Thursday was move-in day for thousands of University of Illinois students, but the Illini football team continued to prepare for its season-opener against Southern Illinois. With only nine days until kickoff, Illinois has fully moved into game-week style practices, fine-tuning its game plan for the Salukis.

    Training Camp Day 17: Almost Game Week

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    Post-Practice Interviews: Beckman | Cubit | Lankford

    Illinois moved to the grass practice fields on the east side of Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, as temperatures rose to the mid-80s. The team continued to install and fine-tune the Southern Illinois game plan in a workout that lasted nearly two hours.

    Training Camp Day 16: Back in Champaign

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    Training Camp Central

    Tuesday videos: Beckman | Banks | Cubit | Kynard

    After eight days in Rantoul, the Illini returned to Champaign Tuesday for the remainder of training camp. They conducted a final set of special teams and position meetings at Camp Rantoul before busing back to campus and treating the day's practice as an 11 a.m. game.

    photo 2_8.19.13.JPGTraining Camp Central

    Post-Practice Interviews: Beckman | Brown | Scheelhaase

    The Fighting Illini held their final practice at Camp Rantoul on Monday. After nine practices in eight days, the team will return to Champaign on Tuesday where they'll finish training camp and start preparation for the August 31 season-opener against Southern Illinois. 

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    The Fighting Illini got a much needed, and much deserved day off on Sunday. After a closed scrimmage at Memorial Stadium Saturday night, the Illini returned to Rantoul and enjoyed a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center, which is adjacent to the Camp Rantoul practice fields. Some of the players let loose on the water slides and diving boards, while others watched and lounged in the lagoon area of the pool. 

    FreezePops-Pickles.jpgTraining Camp Central | Beckman AM | Beckman PM

    The Fighting Illini held their 14th training camp practice Friday morning, the front-end of their third two-a-day this week at Camp Rantoul. As has been the case after the first of each two-a-day session, the players enjoyed freeze pops and pickles, along with the usual Gatorade, while taking their ice baths right after practice. 

    Why freeze pops and pickles? According to Illinois director of sports nutrition Chelsea Zenner, it's important for the players to replenish their bodies with carbs and sodium within 30 minutes of the end of practice. Needless to say, they've been a hit with the players.

    photo 4-8.15.13.JPGTraining Camp Central | Buy Tickets

    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." 

    IMG_6068.JPGPhoto Gallery | Training Camp Central


    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.  


    photo 3.JPGTraining Camp Central | Buy 2013 Football Tickets

    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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    Training Camp Central | Buy 2013 Football Tickets

    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.

    Aug6-practice.jpgTraining Camp Central | Buy 2013 Football Tickets

    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.

    IMG_5792.JPGTraining Camp Central | Photo Gallery

    Post-Practice Interviews: 
    Coach Beckman | OC Cubit | LB Brown | QB Lunt

    The Fighting Illini opened fall training camp on Monday with split-squad practices on the grass practice fields just east of Memorial Stadium. The "orange" team opened things up with a spirited two-hour session at 8:30 a.m., while the "blue" team took the field at 4:25 p.m. and wrapped up at about 6:15. It was perfect weather, with clear skies and temperatures in the 70s for the morning practice and a hint of clouds and a cool breeze for the evening workout. 

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    Photo Gallery | ESPN.com Chat

    Fighting Illini football coach Tim Beckman made the rounds at ESPN Headquarters on Thursday, doing nine interviews in three hours as part of the Big Ten "car wash" in Bristol, Conn, over the last two days.

    The day started off with a hitch, as dense fog at Champaign's Willard Airport pushed our flight to Hartford back an hour. After landing and making the short trip from Hartford to Bristol, Coach Beckman, his wife Kim and daughter Lindsay, arrived at ESPN at 11:45, about 45 minutes after the scheduled start of the "car wash" schedule. That meant we had some catching up to do.

    Flip the Switch!

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    IMG_5564-blog.jpgThe new 96' by 36' Daktronics HD video display at Memorial Stadium was turned on for the first time on Friday and it was magnificent. The Illini Productions video crew was able to do some testing on the main board in the south end zone as well as the new east and west ribbon boards and the auxiliary video screens on the east side. The frame around the video display is still getting the finishing touches put on until it looks like this, and the new sound system is not quite ready to go yet, but there's still plenty of time to get everything up and running before the Aug. 31 season-opener vs. Southern Illinois. 

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    Photos | Sights and SoundsBeckman on SportsTalk Live

    Illini Football Twitter | Illini Athletics Instagram | Day 1 Recap

    After eight hours of interviews and photo shoots on Wednesday, the Fighting Illini were back it bright and early on Thursday for the second and final day of Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago. 

    Head Coach Tim Beckman and seniors Tim Kynard, Corey Lewis and Nathan Scheelhaase started things off with breakfast at 7:30 before heading to media roundtable interviews for two hours. This is probably the toughest part for the players, as they just sit in the same seat for two straight hours answering the same questions over and over, the same ones they answered over and over to the TV networks the day before. As expected, the Illini had a steady stream of media attention throughout the session and, as expected, they handled themselves well. 

    Big Ten Media Days: Day 1

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    Beckman Press Conference: Video | Transcript

    Player Interviews: Scheelhaase | Kynard | Lewis

    PhotosIllini Football Twitter | Illini Athletics Instagram

    The unofficial end to summer, Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon, began Wednesday at the Hilton Chicago. Over 500 media were credentialed for the two-day event, where the college football world gathered to get an early read on one of the nation's top conferences.

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    Illini in the NFL Weekly Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Former Illini offensive lineman Jack Cornell has had an incredible year. He graduated from the University of Illinois last fall, helped the Illini to a bowl victory last December, joined the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent last spring, got engaged over the summer, and now he's become a Super Bowl Champion.

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    Illini in the NFL Weekly Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    A pair of Fighting Illini NFL rookies are in New Orleans this week for Super Bowl XLVII, which takes place this Sunday, Feb. 3, at 5:30 pm CT on CBS. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins of the San Francisco 49ers and offensive lineman Jack Cornell of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad have been in the "Big Easy" all week going through all the usual Super Bowl week events while also getting ready, and helping their teams get ready, for the big game. It marks the seventh straight year and the 11th time in the last 12 years that at least one Illini has played in the Super Bowl.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Brandon Lloyd had a touchdown catch to help the Patriots advance to the AFC championship game. In all, four former Illini will play for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday after helping their teams wins in the Divisional round, plus Baltimore Ravens practice squad player Jack Cornell is still alive as well. The five total Illini still left on playoff rosters or practice squads is tied for 10th-most among all colleges. 

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Three Illini were in action during last weekend's wildcard round, Vontae Davis of the Colts, and Alan Ball and Whitney Mercilus of the Texans, while six will be in action this weekend during the divisional round.  

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weeks. Vontae Davis had two clutch interceptions to help the Colts to a Week 17 win over the Texans. In all,  seven former Illini are headed to the playoffs, which begin this weekend with the Wildcard round.


    Here's a look at the most viewed videos from the Fighting Illini Athletics YouTube channel (IlliniProductionsHD) from 2012, plus a couple Illini-related bonus videos that were either posted by another channel or fell just outside of 2012. These numbers are solely from the Illinois Athletics YouTube channel, so they don't include view counts from the fightingillini.com video player. Certainly some great moments to look back on this year. 

    #1 - D.J. Richardson Game-Winning 3-Pointer at Hawaii 11/16 (55,000+ views in 2012)
    A thrilling, late-night finish combined with no television and a shaky internet feed combined to make this video the most-watched video of 2012 on the Illinois Athletics YouTube channel with over 55,000 views in just over a month. The video of Richardson's game-winning three in Illinois' 78-77 overtime win is from the local station that aired the game in Hawaii and the audio is rough, but the shot was spectacular and this was the only way most Illini fans could see it. 


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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Mikel Leshoure and Pierre Thomas both scored touchdowns, Corey Liuget tallied a season high two sacks and both Vontae Davis and Kelvin Hayden recorded interceptions.

    brandon-lloyd-12-16a-blog.jpg

    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Brandon Lloyd had a huge 190-yard game for the Patriots, while Jeff Cumberland (Jets) and Mikel Leshoure (Lions) both found the end zone to highlight Week 15 action.  

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Brandon Lloyd scored two touchdowns for the Patriots, Whitney Mercilus tied the Texans rookie sack record and Vontae Davis had his best game this season for the Colts to highlight Week 14 action. 

    whitney-mercilus-12-5-blog.jpg

    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Whitney Mercilus had a pair of sacks for the Texans, Jeff Cumberland scored the game-winning TD for the Jets and Mikel Leshoure scored his sixth TD in the last five games for the Lions to highlight Week 13 action.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website 

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Mikel Leshoure has now produced five touchdowns over the previous four games while Whitney Mercilus enjoyed a career high four tackle day in a thrilling Thanksgiving overtime win against Detroit.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Tavon Wilson made his team-leading fourth interception for the Patriots and Mikel Leshoure ran for another touchdown for the Lions to highlight Week 11 action.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Liuget broke out with a season best in tackles while Brandon Lloyd returned from a bye week to resume his solid season with the Patriots.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Mikel Leshoure had a huge day with a hat trick of touchdowns, Whitney Mercilus had another sack and forced fumble and Pierre Thomas and Martez Wilson helped the Saints get a win on Monday Night Football.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website 

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Brandon Lloyd found the endzone twice in the Patriots blowout against the Rams and Tavon Wilson added another interception to his season resume to highlight Week 8 action.

    Mercilus-2-blog.jpg

    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. Whitney Mercilus disrupted the Baltimore offense, while Pierre Thomas scored his 24th career rushing touchdown with the Saints to highlight Week 7 action.

    mikel-leshoure.jpeg

    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous week. David Diehl returned from injury to anchor the Giants offensive line, while Mikel Leshoure and Brandon Lloyd both had productive days during Week 6.

    Harvey Michigan Dive.jpgWith the Illini heading to Ann Arbor this Saturday to face Michigan (3:30 pm ET, ABC/ESPN), I thought it would be a good time to look back at some recent memorable games at the Big House. In the last 20 years, the Illini are a respectable 3-4-1 against the Maize and Blue at Michigan Stadium, and half of those games have been instant classics. Whether it was a last-second touchdown, a miracle comeback, a record-breaking performance or the highest-scoring game in Big Ten history, incredible things have happened when the Illini and Wolverines clash in Ann Arbor.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Rashard Mendenhall returned to action this week and found the end zone, Martez Wilson sealed a victory for the Saints and Jeff Cumberland recorded his first NFL touchdown.

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    Weekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Tavon Wilson and Brandon Lloyd highlighted Week 4 with standout plays, while rookie Jeff Allen made his first career NFL start. 

    i.jpegWeekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Brandon Lloyd and Mikel Leshoure highlighted Week 3 with terrific individual performances. Take a look at how all 22 former Illini did during the week.

    Pierre1.jpegWeekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Saints RB Pierre Thomas had a big week and Bucs WR Arrelious Benn had a big play in his first week back from injury to highlight week two of former Illini in the NFL.

    Martez2.jpgWeekly Update Archive | Illini in the NFL Website

    Each week the Illini in the NFL update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Tavon Wilson, Kelvin Hayden and Martez Wilson highlighted Sunday with terrific individual performances.

    Finishing Touches Being Put on Memorial Stadium

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    Wednesday Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Banks

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    As the countdown to Saturday's season-opener against Western Michigan continues to dwindle, the Illini worked out on the Memorial Stadium turf once again on Wednesday. After practice wrapped up, workers completed the installation of the bowl banners on the barriers separating the stands from the field, including the Rose Bowl banner.

    Illini Continue Preparations for Season-Opener

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    Monday Interviews: Coach Beckman Press Conference | QB Nathan Scheelhaase | DT Akeem Spence

    Tuesday Interviews: Coach Beatty | Coach Gonzales

    The Illini continued to prepare for the season-opener against Western Michigan on Tuesday, with another morning practice. Once the team finished working out on Zuppke Field at Memorial Stadium, work crews continued to install more signage recognizing Illinois' all-time bowl appearances and an Illinois. Our State. Our Team sign atop the student section in the north end zone seating area.

    Aug 24 photo 2.JPGTraining Camp Central

    Interviews: Coach Beckman | Darius Millines | Justin Staples

    The Fighting Illini held workout No. 22 on Friday morning on the grass practice fields just east of Memorial Stadium. The Illini were in full pads and continued preparation for the Sept. 1 season-opener against Western Michigan. A crew from the Big Ten Network show "The Journey: Big Ten Football 2012" was on hand to get up close footage for the behind-the-scenes show.

    photo 8.22 2.JPGTraining Camp Central

    Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Gonzales

    The Fighting Illini help Training Camp practice #20 on Wednesday afternoon on the grass practice fields just east of Memorial Stadium. The Illini were in shorts and shells on Wednesday after a lengthy scrimmage inside the stadium the day before. The Orange and Blue won't have much time to rest as they take the field at 9 am on Thursday morning for practice #21.

    Illini Return to Practice Field After Off-Day

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    Training Camp Central

    Post Practice Interviews: Coach Beckman | QB Nathan Scheelhaase | RB Josh Ferguson

    After a day off on Sunday to allow players to move into their campus housing, the Illini returned to action on the grass fields to the east of Memorial Stadium for a practice in shoulder pads and shorts. Illinois continued to install its schemes and began to prepare for its season-opening opponent, Western Michigan.

    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.


    Practice 8.15-3.JPGTraining Camp Central

    After a week of practices open to the public at Camp Rantoul, the Illini have returned to campus this week for the remainder of training camp, where all practices are closed. On Monday, the Illini had their second two-a-day of Training Camp with morning and afternoon sessions inside Memorial Stadium. On Tuesday, the team held its first full-contact scrimmage inside the stadium. Then on Wednesday, the Illini practiced on the grass fields just east of the stadium for the first time this season.

    2012_Team_Crop_2846.jpgHighlights | Photo Gallery | Training Camp Central

    The Illini had a busy Sunday, wrapping up Camp Rantoul with a morning practice before returning to Champaign for Media Day and Fan Appreciation Day. The team had a two-hour workout in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts during their final practice at Camp Rantoul, then returned to Memorial Stadium where they went through 90 minutes of photos and interviews before signing autographs for an hour in the Great West Hall.

    Illini Go Through Lone Two-A-Day in Rantoul

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    photo 4.JPGPractices 6 & 7: Saturday



    The Illini went through the only two-a-day practice of Camp Rantoul on Saturday and enjoyed an unseasonably cool day. 

    Aug10-8.JPGPractice 5: Friday Morning

    Training Camp Central

    Interviews: Coach Beckman | Coach Beatty | Coach Salem

    The Fighting Illini were in full pads and did some hitting for the first time at Training Camp on Friday morning in Rantoul. Illinois held a two-and-a-half hour practice in cool, windy conditions at the former Chanute Air Force Base. During the Red Zone portion near the end of practice, the Illini were full contact, doing their first hitting at Camp Rantoul. Follow practice, head coach Tim Beckman joined Jonathan Brown in the cold tubs to help ease the pain of a busy five days in Rantoul.

    Camp Rantoul: Day 4

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    Practice 4: Thursday Morning

    Training Camp Central

    Interviews: Coach Beckman | QB Nathan Scheelhaase

    After three days of split practices as the Orange and Blue squads, the Illini returned to working as a single unit on Thursday. That gave the team a better opportunity to work on some special teams units as well as special teams fundamentals, such as how to shed blockers as a kickoff coverage player or what technique to use as a lineman on a field goal.

    Camp Rantoul: Day 3

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    Practice 3A: Wednesday Morning

    Training Camp Central

    AM Interviews: QB Nathan Scheelhaase | QB Miles Osei

    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.

    Camp Rantoul: Day 2

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    Training Camp Central

    Practice 2A: Tuesday Morning

    AM Interviews: FB Zach Becker | TE Matt LaCosse

    The same group the wrapped up day one of Camp Rantoul started day two, as the Orange team worked out Tuesday morning. They went through a similar routine as on Monday, with individual position drills, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. 

    Camp Rantoul: Day 1

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    Practice 1A: Monday Morning

    Training Camp Central

    Interviews: Coach Beckman | Nathan Scheelhaase | Michael Buchanan

    The Illini opened the 2012 version of Camp Rantoul Monday morning, with the first session of a split-squad practice on the grounds of the former Chanute Air Force Base. The morning session was for the "Blue" team, which consisted of first-stringers and fourth-stringers. The "Orange" squad will be the second- and third-string players and they will practice at 4:45 p.m. Monday. 

    With the 2012 football season approaching, thousands of Illini fans came out in full force last weekend at several Illinois and Big Ten events in Chicago. The weekend kicked-off with the Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday and Friday before Friday night's Illini Summer Bash at Joe's Bar. On Saturday morning, the Illini dominated the first-ever Big Ten Network Big 10K road race at Soldier Field and then hundreds of Illini fans packed John Barleycorn and Wrigley Field for the always popular Illini Day at Wrigley. Check out highlights from each event below.


    photo 1.JPGDay 2 Photo Gallery | Day 1 Photos and Video

    After two whirlwind days of interviews and appearances, the 2012 Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon are now in the books. I was extremely impressed with how the three Illini student-athletes in attendance - DE Michael Buchanan, C Graham Pocic and QB Nathan Scheelhaase - represented themselves, the University of Illinois and the Big Ten Conference.

    Big Ten Football Kickoff: Day 1

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    The two days that signal the unofficial end of summer for many of us - Big Ten media days and kickoff luncheon - started Thursday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Convention Center in Chicago. The entire first day is centered around press conferences, interviews and photo shoots, with Friday holding a few more interviews, an autograph hour for fans and the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon.

    And so it Begins...

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    B1G_MediaDay.jpgAs I sit in my room at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, I can't believe it's already here. Big Ten Football Media Days are upon us, which means the 2012 season is right around the corner. It seems like just yesterday the Illini were celebrating with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl trophy in San Francisco. Now here we are in the Windy City with summer already a distant memory (at least that how it feels for an SID).

    Diehl-Super Bowl.jpgTwo former Illini, offensive lineman David Diehl and punter Steve Weatherford, helped lead the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night. Diehl, who was also part of the 2008 Giants Super Bowl team, won his second career championship while Weatherford earned his first-ever Super Bowl ring.
    Weatherford-Super Bowl.jpgTwo former Illini, offensive lineman David Diehl and punter Steve Weatherford, earned a trip to the Super Bowl following the New York Giants' 20-17 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Diehl, who was part of the 2008 Super Bowl Champion Giants team, will make his second Super Bowl appearance while Weatherford, who held for the game-winning field goal on Sunday, will make his first-ever appearance in the game. The Giants will play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. CT on NBC.

    Diehl.jpgA pair of former Illini on the New York Giants advanced to the NFC Conference Championship following a victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers during the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Offensive lineman David Diehl and punter Steve Weatherford will play the San Francisco 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. CT on FOX.

    Thomas-Playoffs.jpgAll six former Illini who suited up for Wild Card Weekend helped their teams advance to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. Pierre Thomas put on a solid performance with over 100 yards of offense and a rushing touchdown, Neil Rackers nailed a 39-yard field goal and David Diehl helped pave the way for 172 rushing yards.

    Thomas-Playoffs.jpgTake a look at how former Illini fared in the final week of the NFL season. Eight former Illinois football players have helped lead their teams to the playoffs and six will suit up for the postseason, including Pierre Thomas, Neil Rackers, David Diehl, Steve Weatherford, Martez Wilson and Nate Bussey. Rashard Mendenall and Kelvin Hayden will both miss the playoffs due to injuries. Check out the video links for highlights from NFL.com.

    Illini at the Fight Hunger Bowl: Day 4

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    Illini Visit St. Anthony's Dining Room
    Piano Jam Session at St. Anthony's Dining Room
    Kitchen Singing at St. Anthony's Dining Room
    Interim HC Vic Koenning Pep Rally Interview
    Day 4 Photo Gallery

    In case we had missed the meaning of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl prior to today, the Fighting Illini players and staff were confronted with it head-on when they spent the morning serving the guests of St. Anthony's Dining Room. One in five San Franciscans experience hunger and as many as one in two are hungry in the Tenderloin, the area around St. Anthony's Foundation.

    Illini at the Fight Hunger Bowl: Day 3

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    Interim HC Vic Koenning Post-Practice Interview
    QB Nathan Scheelhaase Kickoff Luncheon Interview
    Day 3 Photo Gallery
    Fighting Illini Bowl Central

    After we enjoyed a Wednesday that was somewhat light on official Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl activities, Thursday's schedule was full. The Illini went through their final practice at Laney College before heading to the Westin St. Francis hotel for the KFHB Kickoff Luncheon. We had a few free hours in the afternoon and in the evening, the team headed to Players Sports Grill and Arcade on Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf.

    Illini at the Fight Hunger Bowl: Day 2

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    Interim head coach Vic Koenning Post-Practice Interview
    LB Trulon Henry Post-Practice Interview
    RB Donovonn Young Post-Practice Interview
    Day 2 Photo Gallery

    Illinois' second day in San Francisco was less scripted than the first, fitting in with the laid-back local vibe. After a morning practice, the team and staff were able to enjoy a free afternoon and evening, seeing the sights or just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather. But before we get to the rundown of day two, be sure to check out the great recap of the first night's trip to Alcatraz by our Illini Productions crew (Alcatraz trip | Player Reaction to Alcatraz).

    Illini at the Fight Hunger Bowl: Day 1

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    Interim HC Vic Koenning Press Conference
    Jerry Rice & Ronnie Lott Press Conference
    Day 1 Photo Gallery


    The Illini had a full schedule on their first day in San Francisco with a morning practice, a press conference at AT&T Park in the afternoon and a sightseeing trip to Alcatraz Island, home to the infamous former federal prison. It was a great way to kick off the team's stay in the City by the Bay leading up to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 31.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 16

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    Mendenhall-Score.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Rashard Mendenhall had a solid outing with a touchdown, 100-plus rushing yards and a career-long catch while both Pierre Thomas and Arrelious Benn recorded scores to highlight Week 16. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 15

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    Davis-INT.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Vontae Davis picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick twice and Pierre Thomas scored his sixth TD of the season to highlight Week 15. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 14

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    Rackers Winning Kick.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Neil Rackers sealed the Texans' comeback win with an extra point with two seconds remaining to highlight Week 14. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Mendenhall-Bengals.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Rashard Mendenhall is up to eight touchdowns on the year after two more TD runs while a couple Illini wide receivers made nice catches to highlight Week 13. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 12

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    Davis.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Brandon Lloyd scored a TD for the third week in a row, Vontae Davis nabbed his second interception of the season and Pierre Thomas had a touchdown and over 100 yards of offense to highlight Week 12. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 11

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    Lloyd-30-TD.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Brandon Lloyd found the end zone on a 30-yard TD catch and Arrelious Benn caught five passes to highlight Week 11. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

    Illini in the NFL - Week 10

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    Mendenhall-2.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Rashard Mendenhall found the end zone twice, Brandon Lloyd caught his second TD as a Ram and Vontae Davis had his first interception of the year. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

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