Top of the Morning, Aug. 11, 2017

Top of the Morning, Aug. 11, 2017

The luncheon crowds are good and the membership numbers are up. It's a good time to be president of the Illini Quarterback Club.

That job is currently held by CATHY RECTOR, who took over as president in February.

"I love being the president of our Quarterback Club," Rector said, "It's been great. We've got a great board. I'm very pleased with what we're doing for the program."

Coming off a successful golf outing (thanks, TODD LINDSEY), the next big event for the club is the weekly luncheon. The first one will be Sept. 1 at Hawthorn Suites.

The luncheons, with food served at 11 and a program at noon, will be every Friday during home-game weeks. The exception is Sept. 28, when it will be held on the Thursday before a Friday-night game against Nebraska. That luncheon will change venues, moving to the Memorial Stadium recruiting lounge.

"That will be a fun event for us," Rector said.

The club will again sponsor a Punt, Pass & Kick contest on Sept. 23.

Illinois coach LOVIE SMITH will talk at the first and last luncheons of the year. New men's basketball coach BRAD UNDERWOOD will also speak the first week.

After Smith was hired, club membership doubled, Rector said.

For the first time, the club will also have a student membership. "We are reaching out to all ages," Rector said.

On to my weekend recommendations:


"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," 10:30 p.m., NBC

Guests include NAOMI WATTS and ANDY COHEN. Of all the late-night shows, Fallon does the best job landing A-list stars. Part of it has to be his easygoing style.


"Rescue Dog to Super Dog," 9 p.m., Animal Planet

The series shows shelter dogs helping those with disabilities. The dogs are trained before being placed with their new owners. Those of us with dogs (Hey, Murphy) are probably going to cry.


"Teen Choice Awards," 7 p.m., Fox

T.O.T.M. once was a teen ... a long time ago. I also have a couple at home. JOHN CENA and VICTORIA JUSTICE will host this year's two-hour show. I have seen a few of the nominated films: "Wonder Woman," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and "Hidden Figures."