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Football

Asmussen | Ford's case shows inconsistencies in NCAA eligibility decisions

#FreeLukeFord didn’t work. At least, not so far.

On Wednesday, the Georgia transfer tight end was denied immediate eligibility at Illinois by the NCAA. Instead of being on the field in 2019, the Carterville native will have to spend games on the sidelines. Until 2020.

Who's No. 1? Bob Asmussen's mock NFL draft

News-Gazette columnist Bob Asmussen started following the NFL draft before ESPN began its expansive coverage. Here are his picks for today's first round, which begins at 7 p.m. on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network from Nashville, Tenn: 

Illini tight end Ford denied immediate eligibility

Illinois tight end Luke Ford, a transfer from Georgia, has been denied immediate eligibility, both the athlete and Illini announced Wednesday.

Around 3:30 p.m., Ford tweeted: “My Waiver got denied... Thanks for all your support,” followed by a sad-face emoji. The tweet then continued: “It’s all in the Lord’s timing,” with a praying emoji.

First and 10: Asmussen's 10 best Big Ten pro quarterbacks

With the NFL draft just around the corner, our college football writer ranks the all-time best Big Ten pro quarterbacks:

1. Tom Brady, Michigan

Six Super Bowl rings makes him the king from any conference. He has thrown for 70,000 yards and will likely finish second on the career list.

Asmussen | While Ford waits on NCAA's decision, Illini fans voice their support

CHAMPAIGN — Eventually, the NCAA will make a call. The organization will decide if tight end Luke Ford can play this season at Illinois.

All Ford can do is wait. And hope.

He is trying not to dwell on it.

"I'm just pushing it in the back of my mind at this point," Ford said. "Whatever they come back and say, I don't have any control over it."

Tate | As times change, so do morals in college sports

Steadily, as a people, we are shaving away at our moral values ... slipping to the unprincipled side of right and wrong.

Four downs: Former Illini offensive lineman Christian DiLauro

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen chatted with former Illini offensive lineman Christian DiLauro, who will be keeping a close eye on this week's NFL draft. Originally signed by the Cleveland Browns, he joined the San Francisco 49ers in late September. The tackle from Ohio is looking for playing time this season:

Third and long: Projecting the first Big Ten players to go in the NFL Draft

Our college football writer is counting down the days until the 2019 season. Here are the Big Ten players he projects to be the first off the board in Thursday's NFL draft:

1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Defensive end considered by some to be top talent in this year's class. If he stays healthy, Buckeyes phenom has potential to be a multiyear All-Pro.

April 23 Bob Asmussen chat

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 11:00am

Any truth to the rumors that Illinois is looking for a graduate transfer quarterback? What area does the team most need to fix between now and training camp? When will the Illini land their next commit for 2020?

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

Asmussen | Under familiar face McClain, offense's big men building confidence in spring

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois offensive line family has a new "Dad." On Monday, they had their first meal together.

Offensive line coach Bob McClain went with the players to Champaign's Alexander Steakhouse. (What, did you think they'd go to a salad place?)

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