Illini Resume Workouts in Rantoul
Illini passing game sharp in 7-on-7 drills - 8/16/98
After spending the morning in meetings and with optional chapel and mass available, the Illini hit the field in shells for this afternoon's practice in steamy, sunny conditions in Rantoul. The Illini worked out for two hours, moving to field # 2 for a majority of the workout and 7-on-7 drills. The Illini receiving corps looked sharp in a 7-on-7 workout, with juniors Michael Dean and Connie Moore making several catches. The practice also featured individual drills and special teams play.
DEFENSIVE ENDS CAPTURE BOWLING TROPHY:
The Illini squad spent Saturday evening at Country Tyme Lanes in Rantoul, competing for the Top Bowler Award by position. The defensive ends won the evening with an average score of 126, followed by the kickers and specialists at 125. The coaching staff averaged 114, finishing in the middle of the pack with the equipment staff (92) and training staff (85) finishing last. The top bowler on the Illini squad was sophomore long snapper Patrick Rouse, who rolled a 195.
Following this afternoon's practice, the Illini players and coaches were treated to fresh-cut watermelon slices purchased from a local farmer's market. The team went through 25 whole watermelons in less than a half hour.
Junior defensive end Rameel Connor missed practice for the second straight day with a strained left hamstring (day-to-day).
Freshman running back Jameel Cook and junior wide receiver Connie Moore grew up within blocks of each other in Miami and have known each other since they were small children, attending Southridge High School for one year together. Cook sports a gold tooth with a "J" engraved in the tooth. He also sports nearly a"B" average in the classroom, intending to study communications at Illinois and pursue a career as a radio engineer or broadcaster. Cook sat out last season concentrating on academics at Illinois and is now backing up Steve Havard at halfback.
University of Illinois photographer Mark Jones will spend time in Rantoul tomorrow, including a half-hour at the beginning of the afternoon practice in a helicopter providing aerial photography of the Rantoul training camp site.
"O" LINE STICKS TOGETHER:
With players gradually moving onto the practice field individually or in small groups, fans notice the large group of white jerseys that congregates near the entrance gate. The offensive line corps waits for its entire group to leave the locker room before entering the field together as a tight-knit group working under offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
"ILLINI TODAY" KICKS OFF TOMORROW FROM RANTOUL:
The popular, award-winning "Illini Today" radio series, a three-minute daily show hosted by WDWS sports director Dave Loane, begins tomorrow from Rantoul on the Illini Sports Network. Loane will also broadcast his local nightly "Sportstalk" program from Rantoul for the next two weeks, featuring interviews with Coach Turner and selected coaches and players. WDWS general manager and morning host Stevie Jay will broadcast his Friday morning program live from Rantoul from 6-9 a.m. Friday, August 21.