It turned out to be a beautiful day at Memorial Stadium Feb. 1, in more ways than one...sunny, mild weather, great recruiting class.
The day didn't start out sunny. Head Coach Ron Zook was waiting by the fax machine at 6 a.m. CT, before sunrise. Prospects can fax in their letters of intent as early as 7 a.m. local time, so Zook was ready for some early commitments from the Eastern time zone.
Asssistant Head Coach Reggie Mitchell knew it was going to be a long day, so part of his waiting game was spent in his favorite chair, just down the hall from his office and across the hall from the "War Room."
This is the "War Room," otherwise know as the staff conference room. This is where most full staff meetings take place. The boards on the walls with prospects' names and other vital information are critical to staying organized in recruiting efforts.
Defensive line coach Tom Sims directed his energies toward studying videotape on potential recruits for 2007.
"Believe" was certainly one of the themes of the day at the Illinois Football offices. Several visitors came in to see what was going on and show their support, including Head Coach Ron Zook's wife, Denise (left), and senior forward James Augustine (center, background) from the Illini basketball team. Augustine is serving this semester as an intern in the Illinois Sports Information Office. Cassie Arner (at the computer) and Derrick Burson (upper right) assist Mike Locksley with his live chat session on the website.
Coach Ed Warinner shows off the letter of intent he just received from one of his future offensive linemen.
Coach Reggie Mitchell and Associate Sports Information Director/football contact Cassie Arner answer questions during his live chat session on www.fighitngillini.com and www.coachronzook.com.
Jared Gelfond of the UI Sports Information Office interviews Quarterbacks Coach Ed Zaunbrecher for their live video piece on the website.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley, Head Coach Ron Zook and Receivers Coach Dino Dawson look relaxed, but they are already busy preparing for next year's signing day. They have already had a number of high school juniors in to visit.