Survey says!

Survey says!

For graduation weekend, we reached out to one athlete from every University of Illinois sport for their take on the college scene. Here's what they had to say.

AMBER SEE
Women’s gymnastics

My teammates call me ... Bam.
I picked Illinois because ... it is the perfect combination of a great education and a competitive gymnastics team.
Fans know me for my ... floor routine and powerful vault.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “The more you sweat  in practice, the less you bleed in battle: The life of an Illini gymnast.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... pump- up music of any kind that I can sing to. I don’t have a specific ritual when it comes to music, though.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Coach John Groce (men’s basketball) because the enthusiasm, energy and good values that he has brought to Illinois athletics in such a short amount of time is inspiring.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... qualifying for NCAA nationals and knocking Penn State out. It brought my whole team to tears. It still gives me goosebumps to think about it today.
When I’m not at practice, I like ... hanging out at my teammates’ apartments. We can keep each other laughing all day.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Baseball. They just always look so clean and professional in them.
I really like to beat ... the University of Michigan. They are a huge rival of ours, and we have not beaten them in years.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Minneapolis, because I love the shopping and it is my home state!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Ann Arbor, because you have to be surrounded by University of Michigan spirit, and when they are your rivals, it fuels the fire.
Favorite sportscaster ... Erin Andrews, because she is good looking, is respected in the industry and gets to be involved with some of the most exciting sporting events in the nation!
My favorite college mascot is ... probably Stanford’s mascot, the tree. It just makes me laugh because their mascot is a tree and people have to audition for the part, and it is a big deal at their school. It is just silly to me!

SHAYLA MUTZ
Soccer

My teammates call me ... Shay.
I picked Illinois because ... I really liked the coaching staff and players I met on my visit. Also, I knew my family would be able to come to a lot of my games.
Fans know me for my ... work rate.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Too Mutz Sarcasm.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... “Die Young” by Ke$ha because it has a good beat.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Kevin Hambly because my friends on the volleyball team always tell me how good of a coach he is.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... winning the B1G tournament in 2011.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my apartment because we always have people coming in and out, and there’s always something entertaining going on.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I like the gymnastic uniforms because they’re always sparkly and colorful!
I really like to beat ... Penn State because they’re consistently a great program, so it’s always a great accomplishment to beat them.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Iowa City, because two of my best friends go there so I get to see them!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Minnesota, because the travel is pretty long, and I’ve never been there when it hasn’t been freezing.
Favorite sportscaster ... Erin Andrews, because I want to be her.
My favorite college mascot is ... the Seminoles, because it’s the closest thing to the Chief!

Ian Barnett  
Men’s cross-country

My teammates call me ... EEN.
I picked Illinois because ... I knew that Illinois was a sleeping giant, and I wanted to be part of the class that brought my home- state school back to its former glory. The academics are also top notch.
Fans know me for my ... attitude to never settle.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Big things.”
I get ready for games/meets by listening to ... Adele and Macklemore because they are my favorite artists and they get me ready to compete.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Coach Groce because I like his intensity, and his game plan is working very well for the team.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... crossing the line at Big Tens this year with my teammates around me with the best finish for Illinois in about 17 years.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my apartment resting and getting ready for the next day’s training.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? ... Tennis. They always seem to have a sick new pair of shoes.
I really like to beat ... Michigan, because they are the most comparable to us in the B1G.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Champaign, of course. The lack of hills makes running a bit easier, and you can’t beat the college-town atmosphere.
Favorite sportscaster ... Skip Bayless, because he basically just goes against what everyone says.
My favorite college mascot is ... Chief Illiniwek because he represents the greatest school in the B1G.

AMBER MOORE
Women’s basketball

My teammates call me ... A-Clutch.
I picked Illinois because ... I loved the campus and the players, and I thought that it was a good fit for me!
Fans know me for my ... three-pointers.
My BTN feature would be titled ... ”In the Clutch with A-Clutch.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... Hip Hop & R&B because I really enjoy it, and I don’t really need extremely pumped-up music to get me going!
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for (and why)? I would like to play for coach Kevin Hambly because he seems like a really laid-back coach but he can be intense when needed.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... upsetting Ohio State last year at home! It was a big win for the program, and it was fun to be a part of!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... friends’ apartments because we like to hang out and be goofy all the time. We don’t have to go anywhere to have a good time!
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I like the men’s basketball uniforms because they are very unique and have really cool designs on them.
I really like to beat ... Michigan, because I am from Michigan, and it’s just something that gets me pumped every time we play them!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Iowa, because sometimes we travel on the bus and it a very long bus drive.

DAVIS FRAKER
Men’s track & field

My teammates call me ... Train. It’s short for FrakeTrain.
I picked Illinois because ... I was sick of having beautiful weather in Georgia.
Fans know me for my ... luscious locks.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Not Just a Pretty Face.” It would be narrated by Denzel Washington and would go down as the greatest BTN feature ever.
I get ready for games/meets by listening to ... Gucci Mane radio on Pandora.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? ... I don’t really know about many of the other coaches here at Illinois. Sorry.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... freshman-year Jock Jams, Dancing Through the Decades. Unfortunately, going up against dueling Michael Jacksons by the women’s track team, second place was as good as it got.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my recliner while watching some “Duck Dynasty.” Those guys crack me up. Deep down, I always wished I had a hammock to chill on, though.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Volleyball. I think I would look pretty snazzy in the shorts.
I really like to beat ... everyone. I don’t discriminate.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... I like Wisconsin, but I did see it in the summer. I hear it is a different ballgame in the winter.
Favorite sportscaster ... I really pride myself on picking the winners of college football games, so if they agree with me, they are my favorite for that day.
My favorite college mascot is ... Mike, the tiger at LSU, is the coolest one I have ever seen.

JACKIE WOLFE
Volleyball

My teammates call me ... Jackie, Jacks, Jack.
I picked Illinois because ... of the unique volleyball program and great academics.
Fans know me for my ... last name, Wolfe, and have made a wolf symbol with their hands every time I serve.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Through the eyes of the Wolfe.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... I don’t have a specific playlist, but just something upbeat that I can dance to. I also like to visualize before each match for about five minutes.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? It’s hard to decide, but probably Janet Rayfield because of her years of experience as a player and coach. I have also heard good things about her from my friends on the soccer team.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... playing USC in the Final Four last year and also beating Penn State in a five-set thriller my sophomore year in Huff.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my apartment and sleeping as much as I can. I also like to hang out at my other teammates’ apartments to just relax and watch TV or movies.
Which other Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniform? I guess I would say football. They have a lot of different jerseys and cool combinations that can be made.
I really like to beat ... Penn State and Purdue. They are both very good teams and always put up a big fight against us.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... I really like going to Penn State’s campus. They have a nice downtown area for students, and the scenery is much different than in Champaign. I also like going to Northwestern so we can get Portillo’s!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... probably Minnesota. It’s a long day of traveling to get there and usually really cold when we play there. I’ve never actually seen their campus besides the gym, though.
Favorite sportscaster ... I don’t have a favorite, but I like listening to the Chicago Bulls sportscasters, as well as the NBA on TNT team with Charles Barkley.
My favorite college mascot is ... I don’t have a favorite! I don’t pay much attention to other schools’ mascots. I just love being an Illini!

ALEX BOOKER
Softball

My teammates call me ... any variation of my last name, Booker.
I picked Illinois because ... the academic history was too good to pass up and because I wanted a chance to get some championship rings.
Fans know me for my ... energetic personality on the field and for my speed on the bases.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Beyond the base paths with Alex Booker.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... my “pregame” playlist, of course! It has a lot of high-energy songs with good beats that pump me up.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Kevin Hambly, because I have watched a couple of their practices and I like his approach to the team. Not to mention he was the national championship runner-up coach a year ago.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... winning our series at Michigan last season. Playing in that atmosphere just fired our team up, and we came out with the 2-1 series victory against the defending Big Ten champs and 22nd-ranked Michigan.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... the locker room, a teammate’s apartment or my apartment because we frequently chow down on some good food and play N64 video games all night!
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? The volleyball team. I like how the long-sleeved uniforms look, and they wore them with style in the national championship match last year.
I really like to beat ... Michigan, hands down. As much as I would like to beat every team in the Big Ten, I prefer to really take it to Michigan because they have historically had the most success over the past years in Big Ten softball.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Besides Illinois, Ohio State had the best softball facility. I liked the close-knit feel of almost all the athletic facilities in one place on campus.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Flying to Minnesota my freshman year was not the greatest experience, but maybe they will change my mind this year. We flew there at the end of May, and I felt as if we were playing inside the Niagara Falls waterfalls while it was also very cold out.
Favorite sportscaster ... Mike Ditka, because he was a former player and coach of my favorite NFL team, “Da Bears!”
My favorite college mascot is ... Chief Illiniwek, because I have too much pride in my school to ever like another mascot. Also, the Chief will always live on and be tradition.

ZAK PEDERSEN
Football

My teammates call me ... a number of things. Ped is what most guys refer to me as. Some guys like to joke about my age and call me grandpa, old man, grandpappy or geezer, but it’s all in good fun.
I picked Illinois because ... growing up on Saturday mornings my dad would wake me up by putting on the Illini 11 a.m. game, so from a young age I was a fan. As I got older and started debating college choices, Illinois seemed like a perfect fit for me; it has rich tradition, fantastic academics, is relatively close to home (but still far enough away, sorry, Mom), and I knew a few people who had gone here and absolutely loved it.
Fans know me for my ... ability to remain anonymous despite playing here for so long. It really gives me a thrill when the die-hard Illini fans recognize me as the long snapper, but in the true nature of the position, going unnoticed means you’re pretty good, so I can live with that.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “For Zak Pedersen, Snapping is ... well ... a Snap.”
I get ready for games by listening to ... “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine. There’s a line in the song that states, “It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now ...,” and I just feel like those words fully encapsulate game day.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Coach Small (golf) because I love golfing, and even though I’m nowhere near as talented as the guys on our golf team, I feel that with his ability to mass produce champions year in and year out, he could help shave off a few strokes and improve my handicap.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... beating Northwestern at Wrigley Field. It was surreal to me that we were able to play at such an awesome venue downtown, with all the buzz from the national media and people watching the game from surrounding rooftops; it was really sweet. My peers on other teams still ask about it to this day.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my house on campus. For the people who know me best, I’m kind of a homebody. I enjoy getting out, but being at home embodies a break from everything that’s stressful. I’ve been blessed with great roommates over the years, and this year is no different.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I’ve always felt that the basketball team gets the sweetest gear. I’ve long coveted a pair of Illini basketball shorts with the tribal stripe down the side.
I really like to beat ... Northwestern and Ohio State. Zook would always tell us how Northwestern believed that it was simply better than us in every way imaginable, and I never really hated the Wildcats until I came here and heard that; and everyone who’s not from Ohio hates OSU, including me.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Michigan because of all the nostalgia around that stadium and that program. It’s really a beautiful campus with great fans and a superb game-day atmosphere.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... though the hotel at Purdue is pretty bad, and the food at Indiana is hands down the worst, my least favorite trip is to Columbus. I’ve been there twice, and both times it’s been gloomy (rained for three straight hours in ’09) and both times we were unable to pull out a victory.
Favorite sportscaster ... is John Buccigross. So much so that I follow him on Twitter. He spices up the average highlight by throwing in a lot of references to popular culture that are always funny.
My favorite college mascot is ... Uga from the University of Georgia, because how awesome is having a real-life bulldog as your mascot?! And he bites players from other teams, so I’ve gotta give him mad respect.

Courtney Yaeger
Women’s cross-country

My teammates call me ... Court.
I picked Illinois because ... it’s a great school in academics and athletics, and it’s far (but not too far) from home!
Fans know me for my ... position. I hope they can see me when I’m up in the front pack.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Most Improved in the Big Ten.”
I get ready for meets by ... listening and talking to my teammates; laughing with them before a race always makes me feel less nervous.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? None. I couldn’t play any other sport!
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championship. It was amazing to watch our team perform and support each other throughout the weekend. It was the strongest we’ve ever been and the reason why we know we can win this year!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... Espresso Royale because it’s a great place to study or meet with friends, plus great coffee.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Volleyball. We have one of the same long-sleeve shirts that they do, and it’s my favorite.
I really like to beat ... every 10K runner in the Big Ten!
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Madison. It’s a beautiful city with great running trails by the lake.
Favorite sportscaster ... Lou Holtz. He’s from West Virginia, too!
My favorite college mascot is ... (since I never knew Chief Illiniwek) the West Virginia Mountaineer, because he’s always been a strong symbol in my home state.

B.J. FUTRELL
Wrestling

My teammates call me ... B.J., Berni, Bernstein, Cita, Mr. Swag, & Young Gucci.
I picked Illinois because ... it was a perfect fit for me and my family, great coaching staff, and I wanted to represent my home state.
Fans know me for my ... boyish good looks, style and cat-like reactions.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Wrestling with Faith.” which is also my Twitter name so follow me @wrestlingwfaith.
I get ready for meets by listening to ... Lecrae because his music has a positive message and his style has a nice flow.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Justin Spring because he is an Olympian and he knows how to get the best out of his athletes.
My most vivid Illinois memory is  ... last year beating Cornell in the dual that came down to the final match to move on to the Final Four.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my apartment because it is quiet, relaxing and away from campus.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Football and volleyball because they have so many options.
I really like to beat ... everybody, because I don’t train to lose.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... The one where you go and win!
Favorite sportscaster ... Tim Johnson because he knows the sport of wrestling, and he makes matches exciting to listen to.
My favorite college mascot is ... any mascot would be cool because we don’t have one.

TYLER GRIFFEY
Men’s basketball

My teammates call me ... usually with any computer issues they might have. I’m the team IT guy.
I picked Illinois ... for many reasons and among them are distance from home, success of the basketball program, and KAMS being within walking distance.
Fans know me ... for my personality and demeanor off the court, but I honestly just want to be remembered for my Rail Card I finished at Legends.
My BTN feature would be titled ... I have no idea; I just wouldn’t want Tim Doyle doing the interview.
I get ready for games by listening to ... Unfortunately, I don’t have much say on what to listen to before games. All my teammates own Beats by Dre, which drown out anything I have playing on my headphones.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? I’d like to be coached by Justin Spring. I want to learn how to do a backflip on my trampoline, and I think he could help me.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... all the interviews I have done with The News-Gazette.  Shout out to Marcus Jackson and Paul Klee!
When I’m not at practice, I like ... to play the guitar ... on my Nintendo Wii.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? The best jerseys on campus have to be the men’s swimming team. Wait, do we even have a men’s swimming team here???
I really like to beat ... anyone I’m playing against in video games.  I especially hate losing in FIFA. Send me a message on Twitter if you want to play.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... We didn’t get to go out and visit much of the cities but I’ve heard good things about Madison.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... I’m going to go with Penn State. I normally don’t mind flying, but flying into Happy Valley is an experience I’m glad I don’t have to go through again.
Favorite sportscaster ... Obviously, I would have to choose Doug Gottlieb, because he knows no wrong. In all honesty though, I love Jay Bilas and pretty much agree with everything he has to say.
My favorite college mascot is ... The Chief. Where is he nowadays anyways?

JESICA EJESIEME
Women’s track & field

My teammates call me ... Jesi.
I picked Illinois because ... I didn’t want to stay in Texas, the education and to train with Coach Buford-Bailey.
Fans know me for my ... versatility. The fact that I basically run any sprint event or relay.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “The combo hurdler.”
I get ready for meets by listening to ... Meek Mill gets my mind right and hyped up.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Definitely Kevin Hambly. Such a great coach and amazing program.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... shocking everyone by going second in the 400H at the B1G Outdoor Championships. I was an underdog going into the meet.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... kicking it at home or eating out with my teammates.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Women’s gymnastics. They’re so different, and I love the creativity.
I really like to beat ... Ohio State. Our sprint groups are always going neck and neck to see whose sprint group is better.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... I haven’t been to many yet, but I would love to visit Ann Arbor. It seems exciting.
Favorite sportscaster ... Lisa Salters. I love that she has made a platform for female African-Americans in sports journalism.
My favorite college mascot is ... the Florida Gators.

EMBER SCHULDT
Women’s golf

My teammates call me ... Embey.
I picked Illinois because ... it was a great school and had what I was looking for in golf as well. It has one of the top indoor golf facilities in the nation, and the team was a great fit.
Fans know me for my ... John Daly-ish swing.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Grip it and rip it.”
I get ready for matches by listening to ... “Lose Yourself” by Eminem because it motivates me to play my best and to never give up because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Kevin Hambly. He is obviously a great coach and would love to know some words of wisdom from him.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... “College GameDay” when Illinois beat Michigan State. Best game ever!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... the Quad. It’s a great place to relax and get my mind off things.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Football because I think their new blue helmets are fierce. I like the matte finish on them.
I really like to beat ... Wisconsin because I personally have a rival on the team that I played all through high school with, so it is always fun to get a win against them.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Ohio State. It’s so big, and it has a great environment around the campus.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Haven’t been to all of them so I don’t know.
Favorite sportscaster ... ESPN’s Chris Berman. I love his commentary, especially his “woop” when doing football plays.
My favorite college mascot is ... I don’t have one.

AUSTIN PHILLIPS
Men’s gymnastics

My teammates call me ... Aust or Austy.
I picked Illinois because ... the brotherhood is like no other.
Fans know me for my ... ability to make difficult things look easy.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Through Struggles to Success.”
I get ready for meets by listening to ... a variety of music, from Rick Ross to Bingo Players to Symphony No. 9. I get my mind in different places, pumping me up at times and then slowing it down, relaxing myself.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? John Groce. He seems like a well-rounded individual and nice guy. Also, his team is doing a good job on the court, and winning is hot.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... MY TEAM WINNING THE 2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP!!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... the Union. I feel like a regular student and get to see a variety of people.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I’d have to say football. The gear they get is sick, and those helmets look pretty cool.  
I really like to beat ... Honestly, everyone! They are all my rivals in the end, but I’d have to say Michigan. They are a little too sure of themselves.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Ohio State. We are good friends with the guys on their team, and their campus is pretty sweet. They have some good restaurants that we go to there as well.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Penn State. I’m sort of afraid of planes, and you have to take the smallest propeller plane into its campus, and it was the sketchiest ride ever. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. And my teammates definitely did not help my fear of flying.
Favorite sportscaster ... Stephen A. Smith. He’s so funny. He’s not afraid to tell it like it is. He gets into these heated conversations and really hashes it out on television.
My favorite college mascot is ... LSU’s Mike the Tiger. IT’S A REAL TIGER ON THE FIELD. Enough said.

ALLISON FALKIN
Women’s tennis

My teammates call me ... Big Al.
I picked Illinois because ... great facility, great teammates, great coaches, great school.
Fans know me for my ... slice backhand.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “My Life as an Illini.”
I get ready for matches by listening to ... “Sweetest Girl” by Wyclef Jean or “Would You Go with Me” by Josh Turner because for some reason they both just put my mind at ease.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? I don’t really know many of them, but I think (Kevin Hambly) seems very inspirational.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... when we beat Texas, which was ranked eighth at the time. This was the only time we’ve beaten a Top 10 team since I’ve been here, and it boosted our confidence a lot.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... any coffee shop (although my favorite is Aroma). I am a coffee shop junkie; always have been, always will be.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I like women’s volleyball because I love wearing spandex.
I really like to beat ... Northwestern because it’s our in-state rival, and they are always up there when it comes to women’s tennis.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Ann Arbor is really nice. I like it because of the restaurants ... and Zingerman’s!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Penn State because it’s just so far away ... although we did take a sleeper bus to get there, which was pretty crazy! We went to bed after our night match and woke up back in Champaign.
Favorite sportscaster ... Mary Carillo because I like the way she commentates tennis.
My favorite college mascot is ... the Fighting Illini because why would I like any other mascot that’s not our own?

STEPHEN HOH
Men’s tennis

My teammates call me ... Hohski, the Ninja, the Australasian or Stephen.
I picked Illinois because ... of the perfect balance between athletics and academics.
Fans know me for my ... Australian background.
I get ready for matches by listening to ... the Goo Goo Dolls, because they make me feel relaxed and comfortable, and allow me to clear my mind.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Justin Spring, because he has competed at the very highest level of his sport and knows what it takes to succeed as an athlete.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... winning the Big Ten tournament title in 2012 with my six teammates. Each and every one of us put our heart and soul into the tournament and beat the odds to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against a formidable opponent.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... the ARC, because there is an endless variety of activities that one can partake in.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? The football team had really cool uniforms last season, especially their helmets.
I really like to beat ... It is great to beat any Big Ten team, but our matches against Ohio State are always highlighted in our calendars. They have had tremendous success in the Big Ten over the last few years, which makes any victory over them a little more special.
Best Big Ten city to visit ... My favorite is Iowa City. I enjoy playing at Iowa’s tennis facility, and their campus is very nice, too.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... for me, personally, the enjoyment level of a trip is correlated with the team’s performance on the tennis court. Defeats can be a bitter pill to swallow, which only makes the idea of victory more motivating.
Favorite sportscaster ... Mike Cation. He does pretty much all the Illini sports, and his voice is instantly recognizable.
My favorite college mascot is ... Michigan State’s Spartans. If you are looking for a mascot to symbolize strength, determination and passion, you won’t beat a blood-thirsty Spartan warrior who was born and bred for battle.

MASON JACOBS
Golf

My teammates call me ... Mase.
I picked Illinois because ... I wanted to play for my state, and I liked the direction Coach Small was taking the Illini program.
Fans know me for ... being a long hitter.
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Illini for Life: The Journey for 5 Rings.”
I get ready for matches by listening to ... rap because it gets me into a nice rhythm before I play.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Brad Dancer because he is energetic, and I like the way he runs his program.
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... chipping in on the final hole to lead the charge in winning the 2012 Big Ten championship!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... my apartment because it’s relaxing and I can kick back in my recliner.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? The football team’s new uniforms and helmets are sweet!
I really like to beat ... Indiana. They have been our rival in golf since I have been at the U of I, and it always feels good to beat them!
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Columbus, Ohio. They have a ton of great golf courses in the area, and it’s cool to play the courses that the great Jack Nicklaus grew up playing.
Favorite sportscaster ... Charles Barkley.

JORDAN PARR
Baseball

My teammates call me ... Parr.
I picked Illinois because ... it has always been my dream school, and I felt like that is where the Lord wanted me.
Fans know me for ... my Christian walkout song and as one of the brothers!
My BTN feature would be titled ... “Letting Go.” I always wanted to have control of my future, but I found happiness when I let the Lord take over my life and started living for him.
I get ready for games by listening to ... worship music, mostly Hillsong because it puts my mind on the important thing, which is living to glorify Christ.
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? I would like to wrestle for Jim Heffernan. I love his intensity and desire for all of his athletes to succeed.
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at ... Navigators, the on-campus ministry I am a part of. I love the group of guys and fellowship.
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? I love the new football uniforms. They’re pretty clean!
I really like to beat ... Purdue. We played them close every game and we got swept. I would enjoy returning the favor this year.
Best Big Ten city ... State College. Very cool place and atmosphere.
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Northwestern. I really don’t enjoy playing at a place where the wind always blows in.
Favorite sportscaster ... John Gruden. Hard-nosed guy who loves competing and players who play the game the right way.
My favorite college mascot is ... Florida State’s Seminoles.

DARRAGH McDERMOTT
Swimming

My teammates call me ... D.
I picked Illinois because ... of the great opportunities here!
I get ready for meets by listening to (and why) ... calm music. I try to stay focused and relaxed!
Which other Illinois coach would you like to play for? Kevin Hambly. He really cares about his athletes!
My most vivid Illinois memory is ... Big Tens last year!
When I’m not at practice, I like hanging out at (and why) ... my apartment with my friends!
Which Illinois team other than your own has the coolest uniforms? Gymnastics Leos because they are sparkly!
I really like to beat ... Iowa
Best Big Ten city to visit ... Purdue because I love their pool and we ate awesome food!
Worst Big Ten trip is ... Minnesota because it is a long drive and cold!
My favorite college mascot is ... Fighting Illini because I’m an Illini.

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