3 questions with ... former Illini standout J Leman
Aside from broadcasting with BTN, what are you up to these days?
Most of my time is surrounded by my own business. I help people with health, and I live in the Chicago area. I kind of had a health crisis in my life after football with some concussions and wasn’t getting better. I looked for some alternative solutions and it kind of led me into nutritional supplements and helping people with health. That’s really aided me in my recovery. It’s been a great opportunity to run my own business and run it with other like-minded people.
What are you eager to find out about the 2013 team?
I think everyone is curious to see what Bill Cubit’s offense looks like. He’s highly experienced and has had success wherever he went, so I think we’re anxious to see what that looks like. I’m anxious to also see how the defense has progressed in the second year of the system. They still have a lot of injuries at key positions. The base of this defense has been the (defensive) line and the secondary for the last two or three years. Now it seems to me that we’ve got the most depth at linebacker. I think it’s going to shift. I want to see how they replace those d-linemen and corners.
Tim Beckman’s first year was a struggle. What do you foresee the future looking like?
There is a lot of youth out there. I remember 2005 when I was a young player and we were struggling to rebuild, there was a lot of youth out there, too. A lot of these players are going to have to play against juniors and seniors that are more developed and stronger and faster. That will pay dividends down the road in two to three years. I think Coach Beckman has made a tremendous effort and reached out to players trying to get them back. He’s brought a lot of guys back on staff. He wants this to be a family atmosphere, and he’s doing everything he can to get it like that.