Rocky Harvey leads an experienced stable of running backs as the Illini prepare for the 2000 football season.
Aug. 12, 2000
PRACTICE NOTES: Once again the Illinois football team faced temperature in the upper-80's for the second installment of two-a-day practices. The Illini competed for over two hours in each of the sessions which was followed by intense conditioning. During three team periods, quarterbacks Kurt Kittner, Dustin Ward and Christian Morton took reps with the running backs and receivers. Kittner completed 6-of-10 passes for 57 yards, Ward connected on 4-of-6 for 31 yards and Morton hit 5-of-7 for 41 yards. The defense stole the show, however, with a span of three straight interceptions by linebackers Ty Myers and Michael Young and safety Marc Jackson.
"I was impressed with the first team (during today's morning session)," head coach Ron Turner said "but we need to bring the back-ups along to the same level. (In the afternoon) the intensity of was there, but not the execution and we need to improve on that."
POSITION SPOTLIGHT - RUNNING BACKS: Led by returning starters Rocky Harvey and Jameel Cook the running backs unit for the 2000 season looks to be a strong one. Add the power of tailback Antoineo Harris and the impact of fullback Carey Davis and it looks to be a deep unit as well. In the first two days at Rantoul, the backs have worked extensively on pass protections, run blocking and route timing.
"Right now in practice, we as a group (of running backs) are not where we need to be," Harvey said. "We need to stay focused on improving everyday and we will get there. We have such high expectations for this team and each of the running backs know that there is too much talent at this position."
LET'S GO BOWLING - LITERALLY: Some may ask what the Illini football team does for fun on a Saturday night - the answer: the third annual Camp Rantoul Bowling Competition. The special teams unit will be looking to defend the team title for the second straight year, while defensive tackle Jeff Ruffin defends the individual rank.
UPCOMING EVENTS: The Illini's schedule will change for Sunday with only session at 3:30 p.m. and will return to the regular schedule of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. sessions on Monday (14th) and Tuesday (15th). All practices are open to the public.