Bob Asmussen

Bob Asmussen

Tuscola elementary students show fundraising prowess

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TUSCOLA — The students, faculty and staff at North Ward Elementary recently demonstrated their ability to raise funds — and their willingness to give back to the community.

Top of the Morning, May 10, 2019

Those watching the Illinois-Purdue baseball game at 4 p.m. Sunday on BTN should stay tuned for the show that follows.

At 7, BTN airs the documentary "Engineering Fire."

The program follows UI engineers as they travel to Haiti, where they encourage solar-powered cooking.

Asmussen | Teen football star's death hits Illinois hard




Use any word you want to describe what happened to Jaylon McKenzie late Saturday night. They all fit.

About to enter his freshman year at East St. Louis High School, McKenzie was shot and killed at a party in Venice, Ill. He was 14 years old.

Asmussen | Another QB gone is a troubling sign for Lovie's next Illini

Maybe it will all work out.

Maybe Matt Robinson will take control of the Illinois offense and lead the team back to the postseason.

Or maybe Isaiah Williams will join the Illini this summer and be even better than advertised. The next Kyler Murray.

But right now, there are troubling signs for Lovie Smith's fourth edition.

Four downs: Former Illini defensive lineman Jason Eberhart

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen chatted with former Illini defensive lineman Jason Eberhart. The St. Louis native was an important part of the program's turnaround in the late 1990s and was on the field for the last play in the 1999 win at Michigan. Back living in St. Louis, Eberhart works in human resources.

Third and long: Asmussen's top Big Ten players for the 2020 NFL Draft

Our college football writer is counting down the days until the 2019 season. Here are the Big Ten players most likely to be selected early in the 2020 NFL draft:

1. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

Right now, the former News-Gazette All-Stater from Edwardsville is considered a Top 10 pick. And he hasn't even played his junior season.

Asmussen | Local man helps Illini great Williams achieve another milestone

On his eighth birthday in March 1985, David Brauer sat near the Assembly Hall court for an Illinois basketball game. At halftime, Illini receiver David Williams was presented with his All-American plaque.

Williams was already an Illinois icon, setting a school record with 101 catches in '84 and grabbing another 92 his senior season.

First and 10: Asmussen's 10 top transfer receivers for the Illini

Our college football writer ranks the receivers in the transfer portal that Illinois should go after:

1. Darnell Salomon, South Florida

If you can't beat them, join them. He had five catches for 95 yards and two TDs in South Florida's win against Illinois at Soldier Field.

Asmussen | Clutts leaves indelible mark on Parkland softball program

CHAMPAIGN — Way back in 2001, Chuck Clutts heard about the softball opening at Parkland College.

Actually, his daughter Michelle told him about it.

Then the coach at Centennial, Clutts applied. And athletic director Rod Lovett said "You're the one."

Great move.

Top of the Morning, May 3, 2019

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association will honor this year's Hall of Fame class Saturday at Normal's Redbird Arena. There are oodles of local and Illinois connections.