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Jeff Huth's former Illini power rankings:
1. Steve Stricker
Illini fans hope world’s No. 13, who turns 46 this month, wins at least one major before he’s done.
2. Deron Williams
Nets point guard became third fastest in league history to reach 5,000 assists (554 games).
CHAMPAIGN — A familiar face is returning to the Illinois football staff.
Former Illini player and coach Greg Colby, who worked for John Mackovic and Lou Tepper from 1988 to ’95, will join Tim Beckman’s staff. Illinois officials can’t comment on the hire until it receives university approval, which is expected to happen Monday.
Billy Gonzales, the Illinois co-offensive coordinator in 2012, is leaving the school for another job, a source close to the program said.
Gonzales joined Tim Beckman’s staff after working two seasons at LSU as passing game coordinator and receivers coach. Before joining the Tigers, he spent five seasons as receivers coach at Florida.
CHAMPAIGN — He couldn’t brag about the team’s record in 2012. But what Tim Beckman could offer was the chance to play. And help rebuild.
The recruiting pitch worked on 10 early enrollees, who came to school in January. It worked on 15 more high school players, who signed Wednesday and will join the team during the summer.
Here are the best players in each Illinois recruiting class during the past decade. Aaron Bailey and Caleb Day have the highest rating in the current class:
It’s a 10-minute walk from Cary Quadrangle to John Strauser’s classes. If he gets hungry during the day he can stop by the Purdue Memorial Union for a burger using his “Boiler Bucks.”
Tuition is taken care of. So are his books. And dorm expenses. And food. For the next four-plus years.
San Francisco receiver A.J. Jenkins makes this the 12th consecutive season that at least one former Illini will be on a roster for one of the Super Bowl teams. Here’s a look at how the former Illinois stars fared in the previous 11 showdowns.
Super Bowl XXXVI
New England 20, St. Louis 17
RB Robert Holcombe, St. Louis
Super Bowl XXXVII
CHAMPAIGN — Michigan’s Max Bielfeldt played his first college game on a campus that has a building named after his family.
His grandparents helped endow the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building, which opened in 1996.
Bielfeldt, a Peoria Notre Dame product, had four points and two rebounds in six minutes to help the second-ranked Wolverines pull away for a 74-60 victory.