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    Eugene Wilson
    28 Eugene Wilson
    Hometown:
    Merrillville, Ind.

    High School:
    Merrillville

    Height / Weight:
    5-11 / 185

    Position:
    Cornerback

    Birthdate:
    08/17/1980

    Lettered:
    1999-2002

    2002: Thorpe Award Semifinalist ... Team Captain ... 2002 Playboy All-American ... Second-Team All-Big Ten by both the media and coaches ... Finished the season third on the team with 66 total tackles, but led the team with 14 passes broken up ... Also recorded two sacks and forced two fumbles on the season ... Forced a fumble at the goal line and had seven tackles in season finale at Northwestern ... Had three tackles and a near interception against Wisconsin ... Recorded eight tackles and a PBU against Penn State ... Had four solo tackles and three passes broken up vs. Indiana ... Combined with true-freshman Travis Williams for a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD against Purdue ... Had four tackles and one PBU vs. the Boilers ... Intercepted his first pass of the season vs. Minnesota and had three passes broken up to add to eight tackles vs. Minnesota ... Recorded a tackle for loss in the red zone and had three pass break ups vs. Michigan ... Had a career-high 11 solo tackles vs. San Jose State, including one sack for a loss of 11 yards, and a forced fumble ... Broke Illinois career punt return yardage record with 21-yard return vs. San Jose State ... Had four solo tackles and one touchdown-saving pass broken up vs. Arkansas State ... Registered seven solo tackles and one PBU against Mizzou and six total tackles vs. USM ... Preseason first-team All-American by several publications ... Nation's leader in 2001 with 30 passes broken up ... Holds the school record for passes broken up in a career and single season.

    2001: Nation's leader in passes broken up with 30 ... A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and the coaches ... Earned second-team All-America honors by Football News ... Third-team All-American by The Sporting News and earned honorable mention honors from CNNSI.com ... Was named an All-Big Ten selection by collegefootballnews.com ... Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week following a career-high three interception performance against Penn State ... Also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week ... ABC Player of the Game vs. Penn State ... Eighth on Illinois' career interception chart with 10 ... Seventh on Illinois' single-season interception list with six ... Had two multi-interception games during the season and three in his career ... Broke up a pass every game and in 13 straight contests ... Had a career high 12 tackles in the Nokia Sugar Bowl vs. LSU ... Finished the season with 70 tackles, tied for third among Illinois defenders ... Had four tackles, four PBU's, one forced fumble and the first sack of his career at Purdue ... Had three tackles, two interceptions and five PBU's in the win over Louisville ... Recorded sixth interception of the season against Northwestern in regular season finale ... Also a potent kick returner for the Illini ... Averaged 19.6 yards per return on 12 kick returns ... Averaged 10.0 yards a return on 25 punt returns ... Sparked Illiniois' second-half surge with a 46-yard punt return at Indiana ... Had three punt returns for 41 yards at Purdue ... Sixth on the team in all-purpose yards with 514.

    2000: Played and started in all 11 games ... Earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors ... Finished the season with three interceptions in the last three games ... Ranked eighth in the conference with four interceptions and 49th in the nation ... Totaled 37 tackles, one tackle for loss and 16 pass deflections ... Ranked seventh in the Big Ten in pass deflections ... Recorded a career-high six tackles against Michigan State and at Northwestern ... Posted three passes broken up in three games vs. California, Iowa and Ohio State ... Picked off first collegiate pass at San Diego State and returned it for 22 yards ... Posted three tackles and two interceptions against OSU ... Recovered a fumble against MSU ... Led the team in punt returns with 14 for 72 yards, an average of 5.1 yards per return, ranking ninth in the Big Ten ... Totaled four tackles and an interception in win over Indiana ... Returned two kickoffs for 30 yards.

    1999: Dangerous punt returner recorded seventh highest single-season punt return average (9.8) in Illinois' history ... 304 punt return yards were highest by an Illinois player since 1993 ... Was just four yards shy of setting a new Illinois record for punt return yards in a season ... Tallied 80 yards in punt returns in first collegiate game vs. Arkansas State, including a 65-yard TD return, which was the first Illinois punt return for TD since 1984 ... Had 109 punt return yards vs. San Diego State, including a 56-yard return to the 2-yard line ... Ranked 36th in the nation in punt returns.

    High School: All-Duneland Athletic Conference selection ... Named conference MVP on defense . . . Two-time all-state selection ... Named Defensive Player of the Year by Post-Tribune ... Played cornerback, running back and wide receiver at Merrillville H.S. ... Team went 8-3 senior season . . . Earned three letters in football and four in basketball . . . Was four-year varsity starter in basketball . . . Two-time all-conference basketball selection ... Led team in scoring and assists.

    Personal: Full given name is Eugene W. Wilson II ... Nickname is Geno ... Born Aug. 17, 1980 in Merrillville, Ind. ... Parents are Eugene and Murlean Wilson ... Has one brother and one sister ... Majoring in speech communications ... Enjoys food and hanging out with friends.


    CAREER HIGHS

    Tackles: 12 vs. LSU, 1/1/02
    Solos: 11 vs. San Jose State, 9/21/02
    Sacks: 1 at Purdue, 11/3/01
    Interceptions: 3 vs. Penn State, 11/10/01
    Interception Return Yds: 29 vs. Penn State, 11/10/01
    Long Int. Return: 29 vs. Penn State, 11/10/01
    Recovered Fumble: 1 at MSU, 10/28/00
    PBU: 5 vs. Louisville, 9/22/01 vs. PSU, 11/10/01
    Punt Returns: 8 vs. San Diego State, 9/11/99
    Return Yards: 109 vs. SDSU, 9/11/99
    Touchdowns: 1 vs. Arkansas State, 9/4/99 & at Southern Miss, 9/7/02
    Long Return: 70 vs. Southern Miss, 9/7/02
    Quarterback Hurries: 2 at Purdue, 11/3/01
    KO Returns: 3 at Ohio State, 11/17/01 & vs. LSU, 1/1/02
    KO return Yards: 67 at Ohio State, 11/17/01
    Long KO Return: 29 at Ohio State, 11/17/01


    DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

    YEAR G ST AT TOT TFL-YDS INT-YDS PBU
    1999 10 0 3 3 0-0 0-0 0
    2000 11 26 11 37 1-6 4-22 16
    2001 12 54 16 70 1-6 6-29 30
    2002 12 59 7 66 2-14 1-0 14
    Total 45 139 37 176 4-26 11-51 60


    PUNT RETURN STATISTICS

    YEAR NO YDS AVG TD LP
    1999 31 304 9.8 1 65
    2000 14 72 5.1 0 13
    2001 25 250 10.0 0 46
    2002 23 270 11.7 1 70
    Total 93 896 9.6 2 70

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