May 21 Bob Asmussen chat

May 21 Bob Asmussen chat

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 11:00am

Will Illinois add more players before the start of the 2019 season? What position needs the most help? How is recruiting going for the class of 2020?

For the answers to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime Illinois football beat writer.

Bob Asmussen wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am
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Welcome back to another Bob Asmussen chat. I will be here for about an hour.

Obviously, the topic on everyone's mind is the health and well being of Illini defensive end Bobby Roundtree. He was injured in a swimming accident on Saturday in Florida and had surgery on Sunday.

My interviews with him over the years have always been pleasant. He wasn't much of a talker his firset year, but really grew into the role as a sophomore. His teammates care about him to the highest level. He seems like a very good person.

My plan is to keep you posted about his condition to the best of my ability while keeping in mind the wishes of the family.

The football team will continue to work toward the season. That's the best way to honor their teammate and friend.

Time to get to your questions. As always, thanks for your participation.


Panera Guy wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am


As always, thank you for the chats.

I don't know if there's any way to get a message to Bobby Roundtree, but if you have the chance to let the family know the entire Illini fan base is praying for his recovery from such a tragic accident. Whether or not he ever plays football again is irrelevent, just hoping that he can continue his education and reach his goals.

I know there isn't a question there, just felt compelled to say it.

Keep up the great work!

Thanks again.

Bob Asmussen wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am
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Panera Guy,

Well said. The football part of Bobby Roundtree's future is far dowm the list of concerns. The main thing, as you said, is that he is able to continue as a student.

I will try to find the best way to reach Bobby Roundtree. I guarantee his family will appreciate the support.

I am a great believer that a positive attitude goes a long way in recovery from any health scare. The great part here is that Bobby Roundtree is that positive guy.

I am sure that Illinois will do everything it can to help him. I hope Bobby and his family never have to worry about some of the practical matters and are able to concentrate on recovery.

I will let you know as soon as I have any information about ways to reach Bobby Roundtreeand his family.

I have some Illinois facilities questions. Anonymous User wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am

It seems like we won't be getting a grad transfer at QB does it? So if that's the case what would your plan be for the upcoming season?  If the freshman Williams impresses in camp would he be an option to gradually ease him into the lineup. It wouldn't be the first time something like that would happen in college football. The first few game should be wins. I would think the more experience he gains early the better. Of course what if one of the other QB's shows something? What do you think should happen and will happen? 

Bob Asmussen wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am
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I have been told that Illinois will be adding a grad transfer quarterback. I assume that will be Matt Fink from Southern Cal. I know he backed off that a bit last week, but I think that was more a check because he hasn't graduated yet. But a motivated guy will finish his work and be here late this summer.

That late arrival clouds the issue. Isaiah Williams will be here all summer, learning the offense and getting familiar with his teammates. By the time Fink gets here, the job might already be won. So that will make it tricky.

Having a veteran guy like Fink ready to go will be a good thing no matter who starts. But I agree with you that the early part of the schedule is very winnable for Illinois. The more Isaiah Williams plays early, the better off he will be. And the better off the team will be. It has worked for other teams. Clemson comes to mind.

The good part from a media standpoint is it will be interesting. We will keep you posted every step of the way.


Bob Asmussen wrote on May 21, 2019 at 11:05 am
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I am going to cut the chat off for today. Thanks for your great questions. I will be back next Tuesday at the same time,

If you have any questions between now and then, feel free to email me at

Have a fantastic week and enjoy the holiday.