Recruits check out Chicago practice

Alex Golesh came away pleased with the Illinois football team’s practice on Friday evening at Gately Stadium.

The chance to get into Chicago and have a number of signed players and potential targets witness the Illini in action was a key reason for Illinois to hold Friday’s two-hour practice.

More Class of 2014 rankings

The pursuit for the top players in the Class of 2014 will consume college football coaching staffs in the next 10 months. took a position-by-position look at the top players in the particular class that will come to the forefront in early February during National Signing Day.

Villa Grove OKs limited sports co-op with Heritage

VILLA GROVE — The Villa Grove school board on Monday approved a limited co-op with some sports to be shared with the Heritage school district.

While a majority of the Villa Grove board supports a full co-op, some members said they wanted more information before reaching that decision.

Daniels: Big changes in the Big 12

Sayonara, Decatur MacArthur and Decatur Eisenhower. Once the Big 12 Conference starts play in the 2014-15 school year, those two longstanding members will not find themselves in the league anymore. Both Decatur schools were accepted into the Central State Eight Conference on Wednesday. The Big 12 athletic directors met Friday morning in Peoria.

Being first is meaningful to Odenigbo

Tito Odenigbo sees plenty of scarlet and gray.

Practically every Friday at Centerville (Ohio) High School, his fellow students don the colors of Ohio State.

The defensive lineman who verbally committed to Illinois on Monday said a few might throw on the maize and blue of Michigan.

Even fewer, however, sport the orange and blue Illini colors. With the exception of Odenigbo.

Odenigbo's growth impresses coach

Ron Ullery has coached football at Centerville (Ohio) High School since 1977, with the head coaching responsibilities falling on his shoulders since 2000.

During that lengthy time pacing the sidelines for the Elks, he can’t remember a player at Centerville committing to a college this early, like Class of 2014 prospect Tito Odenigbo did to Illinois on Monday night.

Big 12 searches for conference subs


The Big 12 is getting smaller.

Decatur schools Eisenhower and MacArthur on Wednesday accepted invitations to join what will become a 10-member Central State Eight starting in the 2014-15 school year.

The decision did not catch other Big 12 administrators off guard.

Academics stand out to Allegretti

It came down to three schools for Nick Allegretti.

Indiana, Illinois and Northern Illinois.

Buchanan: 'I dreamed for this opportunity'

Hugh Thornton arrived at Illinois a three-star recruit from Oberlin (Ohio) High School.

Michael Buchanan arrived with a bit more hype as a four-star high school prospect coming out of Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) High School.

The two signees from the Class of 2009 could hear their names called during the 2013 NFL Draft, which takes place April 25-27.

Allegretti chooses Illinois

Heading into Monday, the Illinois football team did not have any verbal commitments from any players in the Class of 2014.

By late Monday night, the number had increased to two.