Training Camp Day 8: Camp Rantoul Begins

Aug. 11, 2014

Photo Gallery | Training Camp Central

Interviews: Beckman AM Post-Practice | Beckman PM Post-Practice | Coach Cubit PM Post-Practice | QB Lunt PM Post-Practice

After a full day of interviews, photos and signing autographs for fans on Sunday, the Fighting Illini moved to Camp Rantoul for wall-to-wall football during week two of training camp. The Illini hit the practice fields off U.S. Route 45 at 9 a.m. Monday morning for the first of two sessions. Illinois worked extensively on special teams fundamentals for the first portion of practice, then moved into individual drills, 7-on-7 and team sections on a cool, overcast morning.

After an afternoon filled with film study and meetings, the team strapped on full pads for a scrimmage Monday evening.

The scrimmage began with situational work, starting with red-zone action then working through "coming out" situations, with the offense beginning drives in the shadow of its own goal line. The No. 1 offense faced the No. 2 defense, and the No. 1 defense went against the No. 2 offense. As expected, the No. 1 units controlled the action through most of those situational drills.

The first-string offense scored twice on their first set of drives, both capped by Josh Ferguson runs. When the leading defense faced the No. 2 offense, Marchie Murdock caught about a 20-yard pass down the middle of the field but the defense forced a field goal attempt.

Late in the scrimmage, Reilly O'Toole hit Mike Dudek in stride near the sideline and Dudek cut upfield, out-running the defense for a 40-yard touchdown. One of the next trips down the field, Devin Church found a seam against the No. 2 defense and raced to a 40-yard score.

Monheim Lends a Hand
A heavy rain shower was bearing down on Rantoul as the scrimmage ended and the players all sprinted off the field to the locker room. Or almost all of them did. As he was heading to the locker room, Mason Monheim noticed a young girl having trouble with her bicycle. With rain pouring down, Monheim stopped, helped her get the chain back on her bike, then jogged to the tent where media were waiting to interview him. Nothing out of the ordinary for Monheim, a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

Job complete!

The Fighting Illini have a single practice Tuesday beginning at 4:15 p.m. All practices at Camp Rantoul are free and open to the public.

De-Striping Update
Freshmen Nick Allegretti, Henry McGrew and Malik Turner added their helmet stripes to the whiteboard on Monday morning as part of the "de-striping" process. After the evening practice, Jake Angona and Paul James III earned the de-striping honor. Illini newcomers begin training camp with a single white stripe on their practice helmets. If their teammates and the coaching staff deem them worthy, newcomers can earn their way to being "de-striped" through hard work during training camp. The action signifies that the player is no longer being considered a newcomer to the team.

Newcomers who have been "de-striped"
WR Geronimo Allison, 8/9
LEO Carroll Phillips, 8/9
WR Mike Dudek, 8/9
DL Jihad Ward, 8/9
OL Nick Allegretti, 8/11 AM
LB Henry McGrew, 8/11 AM
WR Malik Turner, 8/11 AM
OL Jake Angona, 8/11 PM
DL Paul James III, 8/11 PM