Football Squad Hits The Grass On Second Day Of Practice


March 22, 2000

PRACTICE NOTES: The Illini got out of The Bubble a day early and took in the second spring practice on the grass. The session included the usual regimen of special teams, position and one-on-one drills followed by seven-on-seven to end the day.

"We got out here (onto the grass field) a day early," Head coach Ron Turner said. "We checked it this morning and it was a little wet, but we could go on it. We will be on the grass as long as we can get something done."

The secondary had a solid second day in the seven-on-seven. Eugene Wilson corralled a 40-yard pick, tossed by Walter Young. Fully recovered from his ACL tear, Bobby Jackson showed a clean bill of health after intercepting Dustin Ward and breaking it for 35 yards. One of the offensive highlights came from Rocky Harvey, who went off tackle for a 42-yard scamper.

"We have a lot of young guys out here, and we are going to improve each day," Turner said.

DUNGY TO SPEAK AT IHSA CLINIC: The University of Illinois will host the annual Illinois High School Association's Coaches Clinic on March 30-April 1 at the Radisson Hotel in Champaign, featuring Tony Dungy, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The three-day event allows high school coaches to interact with high school, college and NFL coaches in chalk-talk and lecture sessions. Dungy will be the keynote speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast and the Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday. He is one of over 30 coaches slated to speak during the clinic.

For more information on the clinic, please contact clinic chairman Jim Rexilius, (630) 668-0648 or Karen Graham at (217) 333-1400. The fee is $55 pre-registration and $65 at the door. Coaches at the clinic will also have the opportunity to watch the Illini in action during practices scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

WHITMAN SELECTED FOR LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: Illinois tight end Josh Whitman has been selected to participate in the fourth annual NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference which will be held May 28-June 1, 2000 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The mission of the conference is to develop a diverse group of student-athletes who will actively participate in and experience a multitude of challenging and thought-provoking activities that will enable them to become change agents on their campuses and in their communities. It will provide the NCAA student-athletes with the opportunity to discuss and explore critical issues facing their peers, to enhance their leadership skills, and to promote better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities.

PRACTICE TIMES: Practices are open to the public and media and photographers will be able to shoot the first 20 minutes. The 2000 spring practice times are as follows:

Practice #3Friday, March 243:45 p.m.
Practice #4Monday, March 273:45 p.m.
Practice #5Thursday, March 303:45 p.m.
Practice #6Friday, March 313:45 p.m.
Practice #7Saturday, April 12:00 p.m.
Practice #8Monday, April 33:45 p.m.
Practice #9Tuesday, April 43:45 p.m.
Practice #10Thursday, April 63:45 p.m.
Practice #11Friday, April 73:45 p.m.
Practice #12Monday, April 103:45 p.m.
Practice #13Wednesday, April 123:45 p.m.
Practice #14Thursday, April 133:45 p.m.
Spring GameSaturday, April 152:00 p.m.