Pads Debut In Camp Rantoul For Hard-Hitting Illini

Senior tight end Josh Whitman was a favorite of autograph seekers after practice this afternoon at Camp Rantoul.
Senior tight end Josh Whitman was a favorite of autograph seekers after practice this afternoon at Camp Rantoul.

Aug. 15, 2000

* Receivers Coach Jackson Audio

PRACTICE NOTES: The first day of pads for the Illinois football team brought a lot of hard-hitting excitement to Rantoul, Ill., including three team periods to end workouts. In attendance for the double session was Illini head basketball coach Bill Self and staff as well as head wrestling coach Mark Johnson.

"You could tell the team was anxious to get pads on," head coach Ron Turner said. "The guys did a good job up front. I was impressed with both the run offense and run defense today, neither side was more dominant. We upped the practice a notch or two without breaking focus."

THE HEAT IS ON: For the second straight day, the Illini have faced 90-degree temperatures with today's high of 91 degrees and a heat index of 102 degrees. With temps that hot, Al Martindale, Director of Sports Medicine and the rest of the training staff have to take extra measures to ensure that the Illini stay healthy. During the two weeks of Camp Rantoul, Martindale has a staff of 12 student assistants and four full-time trainers as well as team physicians on hand to tend to players and coaches needs. In addition to dealing with injuries it is their responsibility to keep players from dehydrating on days like today. Players are encouraged to drink water during every break in the action. Student trainers have water bottles in every position group and are constantly replenishing their supply. During workouts such as today, players could lose up to five pounds each practice. Ice towels and ice baths are also available to players during and following each session.

RON TURNER SHOW: In attendance at today's session were Chris Widlic, Mike Cleff and Rob Collins working on the production of the hour-long kickoff of the Ron Turner Show. The show will feature interviews with many Illini players and coaches as well as footage from Camp Rantoul and other team activities. The show will air on the eve of the Illini's home opener against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 1 at 9 p.m. on WCIA-TV, Channel 3 in Champaign, and later in other Illinois markets. Fans should check their local listings for the time and station in their area.


Wednesday, Aug. 16	3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 17	8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 18		8:30 a.m./3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 19	7 p.m. (at Rantoul HS)