Illini Training Camp: Day 10
Aug. 13, 2014
RANTOUL, Ill. - The Fighting Illini held their second two-a-day practice of Camp Rantoul on Wednesday, beginning with a fast-paced morning session that lasted just shy of two hours.
While the offense's highlights - including a few pretty passes from Wes Lunt to Mike Dudek and strong runs from Josh Ferguson, Donovonn Young and Devin Church - caught many eyes, the defense also counted a few attention-grabbing plays, including an Earnest Thomas III interception where he wrestled a deep ball out of Dudek's hands and a pick-six by T.J. Neal Jr.
After practice, a number of kids from the nearby Little Wings Day Care stopped by and slapped hands with Illini players as they exited the field. Head coach Tim Beckman and a number of players chatted with them and thanked them for coming to practice.
The Illini returned to action in the afternoon, holding another two-hour practice on the Camp Rantoul fields. This time in full pads, Illinois continued to fine-tune fundamentals in the individual periods and hone team concepts in the 7-on-7, inside running and 11-on-11 portions.
During the day's second practice, the Illini coaches' wives held a food drive and fundraiser for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, accepting donations of food and funds in exchange for a pork chop on a stick. Beckman's wife, Kim, was thrilled with the turnout of Illini fans and the proceeds of the drive.
Along with the food and fund drive, a pair of youth football teams practiced on the field just west of the fields of the Illini use, then after both the Rantoul Falcons and the Fighting Illini finished their practices, the Illinois players greeted, took pictures with and signed autographs for the kids.
Newcomers who have been "de-striped"
Illinois will have one practice on Thursday beginning at 4:15 p.m.