Spring Practice #4 Wrap-up

The Illini had their fourth practice of the spring on Tuesday morning.
The Illini had their fourth practice of the spring on Tuesday morning.

April 5, 2011

After a couple days off, the Fighting Illini returned to Memorial Stadium on Tuesday morning for the fourth of 15 spring practices. Ron Zook's squad went for about two hours in brisk and windy conditions.

"We had a good practice today," Zook said after Tuesday's session. "We've adding a lot of things so there's a lot of thinking going on out there. We're trying to get a lot of young guys ready, but overall it was a good practice."

Tuesday Post-Practice Interviews:
Ron Zook | M. Buchanan | J. Ford | W. Mercilus | N. Scheelhaase | A. Spence | E. Wilson

Football Family Fun Fest Set for Saturday
The Fighting Illini will host the annual Football Family Fun Fest this Saturday, April 9, at approximately 12:45 p.m. following the team's 10 a.m. practice at Memorial Stadium.

The event, which is scheduled to last for one hour, will be held on Zuppke Field at Memorial Stadium if weather permits. Fans can meet players and coaches, collect autographs, take photos, and participate in a variety of activities. Football drills and competitions will be available for youngsters 13 and under in addition to inflatable games like the bounce house, bungee run, and giant slide.

Spring Game Coverage
Illinois' annual Orange and Blue scrimmage, which takes place on April 23 at 1 p.m. CT, will be streamed live on and will be televised on the Big Ten Network on a delay at 6 p.m. CT/7 CT that evening, with Steve Kelly and former Illini All-American J Leman calling the action.

Up Next
The Illini resume spring ball on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. with the fifth of 15 practices. The practice time was originally scheduled for 7 a.m., but was pushed back one hour. All 2011 spring practices are open to the public. Practices will be held at either the East Practice Fields, inside Memorial Stadium or in the Iwrin Indoor Practice Facility depending on the weather each day. Full Spring Practice Schedule

Spring Practice Report #4 - Offensive Line:
The Illini return three starts from an offensive line that paved the way for the Big Ten's top rushing offense last season. All-Big Ten weak-side tackle Jeff Allen and honorable mention All-Big Ten center Graham Pocic both return to anchor the line after starting all 13 games in 2010. Guards Hugh Thornton (eight starts) and Jack Cornell (six starts), who split starting duties last season opposite departed senior Randall Hunt, will likely hold down the two guard spots this coming season. Tackle Corey Lewis, who missed all of 2010 with an ACL injury, hopes to return to the line in 2011, while redshirt freshmen tackles Michael Heitz and Simon Cvijanovic, as well as guards Alex Hill and Andrew Carter and center Tyler Sands, are also expected to compete for playing time.