The all-time Illini

The all-time Illini

Ask Loren Tate about his picks here. Ask Bob Asmussen about his picks here. Ask Brian Barnhart about his picks here.

BEST OF THE ILLINI

Illinois football hasn't been a player on the national scene since its surprising run to the Rose Bowl in the 2007 season. In fact, it's been a while since the Illini produced at a consistent rate, with 11 losing seasons since 1996.

That hasn't always been the case. To kick off our coverage of the 2010 season, we decided to look back at the good ol' days: Butkus, Grange, Zuppke, Eddleman and a really big win against Michigan in 1924.

To do this, we assembled a panel of 20 experts connected by their deep knowledge of UI football. We asked them to rank their top 10 in 15 categories – from best quarterback to worst moments.

In the coming pages, you'll see the results of their work. In each category, a first-place vote was worth 10 points, nine for second, etc.

Some of the results were landslides (Red Grange at running back), and some were photo finishes (Tony Eason at quarterback). Either way, our survey showed that Illinois football does have a tradition worth writing about.

How do Illinois' stars of the past stack up nationally? We asked writers covering all 120 Division I-A schools for the best player, coach and team from the programs they report on.

As with our Illinois list, some of the answers will surprise you.

BEST PLAYER

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Red Grange 196 (17)

2. Dick Butkus 182 (3)

3. J.C. Caroline 99

4. Jim Grabowski 95

5. Al Brosky 81

6. David Williams 74

7. Dana Howard 68

8. Simeon Rice 62

9. Bill Burrell 42

10. Alex Agase 39

In their words

"Without a doubt, he obviously put Illinois football on the map. In my writing about him, I see him as bigger than that. Football going into the 1920s was still an Eastern game. It's hard to believe that today. They were the powerhouses, Yale, Harvard, Penn. The big newspapers were still in the East. I think there was always a prejudice that the schools from the Midwest and South, this was kind of like second-rate football. The big players were in the East. Grange kind of changed this. The game that put him on the map was the Michigan game of 1924, but I think the overlooked game was the game at Pennsylvania in 1925. I think that was a shocker. Penn was supposed to be really good. The Illinois team wasn't supposed to be as good. Grange didn't score as many touchdowns as in the Michigan game, but he scored three of them. I think it stunned the Eastern establishment. A sportswriter at the end of the game, "I can't write about it. It's too big a story." Grange had this huge impact. It changed the whole focus of football and where the center of it was. I think he would be a great player today. I don't think there's any definitive answer about it. He was a great athlete. Some people forget he was a very good baseball player. He was a better than average basketball player. He was recruited by Zuppke basically because of a track meet. Either you're an outstanding athlete or you're not an outstanding athlete. His coordination, his strength, is overlooked. People talked about the Grange eye. He had a certain something that players in any era need. Some people seem to know where people are relative to where they are. I think Grange is a star period. I think he had a gift."

– Dr. John M. Carroll, author of "Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football"

Bob says: Eight of the 10 are in the College Football Hall of Fame, with Howard and Rice sure to join them. Grange, who helped legitimize pro football, would be at the top of the Big Ten list, too.

QUARTERBACKS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Tony Eason 180 (9)

2. Jeff George 167 (7)

3. Jack Trudeau 160 (3)

4. Kurt Kittner 152 (1)

5. Dave Wilson 86

6. Jason Verduzco 80

7. Juice Williams 75

8. Tommy O'Connell 62

9. Johnny Johnson 30

10. Perry Moss 29

In their words

"David Wilson's eligibility was questioned, so Tony ended up jumping in. We were going to redshirt him. We weren't even going to play him. He was just a talented guy. He was an excellent passer. His main attribute was his athletic ability. He had great mobility for a big guy (6-foot-4). He was also a tremendous thrower. He had all the qualities. When we came to Illinois, we knew that a quarterback would be critical. Tony Eason was a much less heralded junior college quarterback (than Wilson). He wasn't the one with all the credentials that were obvious. He blossomed quickly. To his credit, he played before we expected him to. In junior college, he ran the option. Once we started working with him, it was obvious he was blessed with a lot of different abilities. Tony was a tremendous young man. He was a great team player. He kept growing."

– Mike White, Eason's coach at Illinois

Bob says: Four of the first five on the list either played for or were recruited by Mike White. Kittner is the exception.

RUNNING BACKS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Red Grange 200 (20)

2. Jim Grabowski 150

3. J.C. Caroline 141

4. Rashard Mendenhall 119

5. Buddy Young 111

6. Robert Holcombe 97

7. Howard Griffith 79

8. Pierre Thomas 44

9. Johnny Karras 43

10. Thomas Rooks 41

In their words

"It was the 100th year for Illinois football and I had just broken (Grange's touchdown) record. We ended up going to a bowl game in Tampa. The athletic department really wanted to make this meeting happen. Red Grange was one of the people who brought college football into the forefront. And he brought professional football into the forefront. Meeting Red Grange was an amazing experience for me. I was thankful that the university was able to make it happen. His wife had read some article that some people weren't too excited that they allowed this kid from Chicago to break his records. Some people didn't necessarily agree with it. Her first comments to me was that he was happy and excited that I had a chance to break his record. He's arguably the greatest college football player ever. He was still in touch with what Illinois football was all about. A lot of people talk about Dick Butkus when they talk about Illinois lore. And they should. But Red Grange is where it all started. People filled stadiums just to see him. I cherish the few moments I had to meet a legend."

– Howard Griffith, former Illini star running back

Bob says: The only category with a clean sweep of first-place votes. Not bad for a guy currently 13th on the school's rushing chart.

RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. David Williams 187 (17)

2. Brandon Lloyd 146

3. John Wright Sr. 123

4. Ken Dilger 85 (1)

5. Mike Martin 80

6. Doug Dieken 72 (1)

7. Arrelious Benn 67

8. Mike Bellamy 64

9. Chuck Carney 59 (1)

10. Tim Brewster 54

In his own words

"It was amazing. And the buzz around campus was amazing, too. The expectations when I came there as a sophomore were not that great because all of the good players had left. They never really knew that we could play. Tony Eason had just left, so Jack (Trudeau) was going to start. My brother (Oliver) had just left and Mike Martin left. We probably had 18 guys from junior college on the team. We just lined up and played. It was like, 'OK, we don't beat Michigan.' We were like, 'Hey, I'm 18. I haven't been losing to Michigan for 20 years.' It was the time of my life. We had to earn our success. At the Liberty Bowl, I sat on the sideline and watched and froze my butt off. Nobody knew I was going to be the player I was. Nobody knew Jack could play as good as he was. After the first year, I hated Michigan and Ohio State like everybody else. They walked in here like, 'I'm Michigan. You're Illinois. We're going to whip your butt like we always do.' I didn't like anybody. It was really your school against their school. I had a great quarterback and a great coach. I was taught to do things that (Mike White) envisioned. I practiced and practiced and practiced. I was good because of the scout team."

– David Williams, College Football Hall of Famer

Bob says: It was more than just a numbers game for the voters, who didn't put the school's career No. 2 (Jason Dulick) and No. 7 (Walter Young) receivers on the chart.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Alex Agase 183 (11)

2. Jim Juriga 143 (4)

3. Brad Hopkins 129 (2)

4. Bernie Shively 105

5. Tim Simpson 98

6. Joe Rutgens 77

7. Martin O'Donnell 66

8. Chuck Ulrich 59

9. Jim McMillen 46

10. Burt Ingwersen 38

In their words

"I think of him as the ultimate team player. A man with tremendous integrity on and off the field. A man who loved his football coach and staff and his teammates. He's the only three-time All-American at two different schools (Illinois and Purdue) in the history of college football. He loved playing for the University of Illinois, especially with his brother Louis. I know he and Ray Eliot communicated regularly during the war. When he had to make a decision, with all due respect to Purdue, he wanted to finish his college career where he started it. That was based on his passion for his teammates and, more importantly, the teammates and friends he had lost in the war. That made him feel very fortunate. He was a man who didn't like attention. He would often tell reporters, 'There are a lot of other players in this room who had better games than me. Why don't you go talk to them?' He gave me a quote that I memorized, 'Success in life is not based on your accomplishments. It's really measured how you help other people achieve their accomplishments.' Ray Eliot said he was the greatest player he ever coached."

– Mike Agase, Alex's oldest son

Bob says: Give credit to the voters for recognizing old-time stars Shively, McMillen and Ingwersen. They knew how to block during your grandparents' days.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Simeon Rice 185 (14)

2. Moe Gardner 177 (4)

3. Don Thorp 149 (1)

4. Scott Davis 100

5. Mel Agee 89

6. Fred Wakefield 85

7. Archie Sutton 77

8. Tab Bennett 76 (1)

9. John DiFeliciantonio 45

10. Mike Piel 32

In their words

"Obviously, an amazing athlete. He always wanted to run with the wide receivers. He always wanted to return punts and kickoffs. He was long, and he was athletic. He could run with the best of them. He never got tired. He was extremely gifted with a 7-foot wingspan, which obviously helps when you are trying to get by a tackle and get to a quarterback. We helped him. He got to rush the pass, and we had to play the run. He wasn't real concerned about taking on blocks earlier in his career. He developed that. But early on, he was just getting to the passer, and he did that quite well. He would always hang out with the freshmen. Every year, the new freshmen would come in and those would be his guys. He was a real kid at heart. He wasn't a highly recruited guy. In high school, he was at Mount Carmel, and they obviously see a lot of talent. He was trying to play receiver there. I don't remember exactly what he was recruited as, if he was right away a defensive end, but when you see a body like his and the speed of his, there's no mistaking that if he's got a football mentality he's going to be special."

– John Holecek, former Illini linebacker, Rice teammate

Bob says: If we picked a Best Interview, Rice would have been the runaway winner. He always has something interesting to say.

LINEBACKERS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Dick Butkus 198 (18)

2. Dana Howard 161 (1)

3. Kevin Hardy 144

4. Bill Burrell 120

5. Scott Studwell 100

6. Darrick Brownlow 93

7. J Leman 78

8. John Holecek 62

9. John Sullivan 61

10. Charles Boerio 43 (1)

In their words

"Dick Butkus is an icon. The University of Illinois has had many great players, but when you mention Fighting Illini football over the last 50 years, one name comes up above all others, and that is Dick Butkus. His play defined the position and set the standard for middle linebackers in the modern era. Dick was a great teammate and a terrific leader by example. His performance on the field pushed the performances of everyone around him. Dick was the most dominant player of his time."

– Ron Guenther, current Illinois athletic director and former Butkus teammate

Bob says: That fancy Red Grange statue on the west side of Memorial Stadium needs a companion piece to the east. Or maybe put a menacing Butkus statue near the visiting locker room as a form of intimidation.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Al Brosky 185 (16)

2. Eugene Wilson 150 (1)

3. Henry Jones 108

4. Craig Swoope 101 (1)

5. Stan Wallace 80

6. Mike Gow 78

7. George Donnelly 68 (1)

8. Kelvin Hayden 60

9. Chris Green 54

10. Red Grange 53 (1)

In his own words

"We had a good season when we went to the Rose Bowl. Any sport that I played, I just played it. That's all. I never added up my hits or walks. I just played the game and let it go. I didn't know how many interceptions I had. I never paid any attention to it. I wasn't afraid of hitting. I was brought up in a neighborhood that you better hit first and hit hard. The College Football Hall of Fame was the top of everything. When Ron Guenther got in there (as AD), a few of my friends knew him and they said, 'What about Brosky?' He looked it up and said 'Oh, my God, what happened here?' Lou Tepper was another one. We had a golf tournament there and he came over to talk to me. He said, 'I played defensive back. Guess how many interceptions I had? Four.' After the golf tournament, he was walking up and down the aisle saying, 'Reporters, here's your story, Brosky. He's one of the best there ever was.' I went to St. Louis University the first year. I was a running back and I did pretty well. The president of St. Louis University took me out to lunch and told me, 'If you want to continue with football, watch your grades and leave St. Louis.' He told me they were going to give up football. I wrote Ray Eliot a letter before I went there. I wanted to know if I would have a chance to try out for the football team. He said, 'You're sure welcome to come out for the team.' It worked out."

– Al Brosky, NCAA career interception leader

Bob says: The guy had 30 career picks. When they were throwing about 10 passes a game. Put him out there against today's spread offenses and he would pick off 50 balls. At least. Remember, he played three seasons.

SPECIALISTS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Dike Eddleman 182 (14)

2. Red Grange 139 (5)

3. Neil Rackers 113

4. Mike Bass 102

5. Chris White 94

6. Steve Weatherford 91

7. Dan Beaver 87 (1)

8. Buddy Young 79

9. Pierre Thomas 66

10. Jason Reda 54

In their words

"I met him in high school (Centralia) and grew up with him. He had such great fundamentals. He loved everybody. He trained, not like they do today because they didn't have all that equipment, but I think his high school coach really taught him the fundamentals of concentration and practice. I remember sitting out in the bleachers at the stadium after we came back to school. He would jump and jump and jump at that cinder high jump pit. I loved to watch him. I still like to watch the punter. I think there's something graceful about them. I think he always tried to beat his own record (88 yards). I always worried about him getting his legs hurt punting. I think high jump was a great exercise for punting because you had to have strength in the leg that you jump off of. He loved to run with the football. He played with Buddy Young, who was a pretty great runner. I think football was his second-favorite sport. He always loved playing basketball. He was approached by the Chicago Bears to play pro football, but his first love was basketball. That's why he ended up with the Pistons. He loved Ray Eliot. He thought he was a great coach."

– Teddy Eddleman, Dike Eddleman's wife

Bob says: There's no way any other school in the country has one guy with the longest punt (88 yards) and punt return (92) like Eddleman.

COACHES

COACH VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Bob Zuppke 188 (16)

2. Ray Eliot 166

3. Mike White 154 (1)

4. John Mackovic 148 (3)

5. Pete Elliott 106

6. Arthur Hall 64

7. Bob Blackman 60

8. George Huff 57

9. Edgar Holt 44

10. Lou Tepper 34

In their words

"It seems like to me that Bob Zuppke and Red Grange were the instumental figures in establishing the rich tradition of Illinois football. Zuppke will always be remembered as one of the most imaginative coaches in the history of the game. Grange said Zuppke was always a step ahead of his time. Obviously, Zuppke brought the huddle to college football. He had all kinds of trick plays, which played liked to talk about. He did invent the flea flicker. He had what he called the flying trapeze offense in the 1930s, which involved a lot of laterals and all kinds of passes. His players talked about how good he was at psyching them up for a big game. That's one thing he'd be remembered for. He was stern. The players all seemed to like him and had respect for him. Knute Rockne was more famous nationally because of being at Notre Dame. I think Zuppke was regarded along with Rockne as one of the best coaches of his time."

– Lon Eubanks, author of "The Fighting Illini: A Story of Illinois Football"

Bob says: College Football Hall of Famer won four national titles. Nobody else at Illinois has one.

GAMES

GAME VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. 1924: Illinois 39, Michigan 14 145 (14)

2. 1947 Rose Bowl: Illinois 45, UCLA 14 133

3. 2007: Illinois 28, Ohio State 21 124 (3)

4. 1952 Rose Bowl: Illinois 40, Stanford 7 112

5. 1983: Illinois 16, Michigan 6 94

6. 1963: Illinois 13, Michigan State 0 79

7. 1999: Illinois 35, Michigan 29 57

8. 1956: Illinois 20, Michigan State 13 54

9. 1994: Penn State 35, Illinois 31 40

10. 1993: Illinois 24, Michigan 21 37

In their words

"Some 86 years later, it can be difficult to put the events of October 18, 1924 in perspective. On that day, Red Grange romped for TD runs of 95, 67, 56 and 44 yards in the first 12 minutes of a game against the University of Michigan. The four touchdowns were as many as Michigan had allowed in two previous seasons. He would then go on an 11-yard TD run and pass for a score, too. Grange's game totals came to an astonishing: 402 yards (212 rushing, 64 passing, and 126 on kickoff returns). Oh, he also intercepted two passes. Given that 100-yard rushing performances were not normal in the 1920s, his statistical performance was obviously exceptional – and it helped make him the greatest college football player of all time – but why was it so significant to so many people and a turning point in sports history? The drama started the previous season. Illinois and Michigan, which hadn't played each other in the 1923 season, were considered the national champions. (Yes, the college football ranking system was as confusing and goofy as it is today.) So going into the game, there was a burning desire from both squads to prove which team was the rightful national champ. Also, the press and Michigan (the Wolverines hadn't lost a game since 1921) were not convinced that Grange was really all that good; Grange wanted to prove himself on the grand stage."

– Gary Andrew Poole, author of "Red Grange, an American Football Legend"

Bob says: Later, Illinois did beat Michigan by 25 points again. Eighty-four years later. The 2008 and 2009 Illini matched the 25-point margins against the Wolverines. Somewhere, Bob Zuppke and Red Grange are smiling.

TEAMS

TEAM VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. 1923 173 (9)

2. 1951 155 (3)

3. 1983 128 (3)

4. 1963 123 (1)

5. 1946 88

6. 1927 74

7. 2001 62

8. 1953 60

9. 1989 58

10. 1914 54 (3)

In their words

"Just how impactful was the 1923 football season for the University of Illinois? Quite simply, it altered the landscape of the sport not only locally but probably even equally so on a national scale. The nation's third-largest institution of higher learning had begun construction on its new football facility, Memorial Stadium, in September of 1922. Immortal athletic director George Huff had promised the alumni that the gigantic structure would be done in time for the Homecoming Game of 1923. Despite the monumental challenge, a determined force of construction workers helped "G" live up to his word, completing enough of the facility in time so that an all-time record crowd of nearly 61,000 could watch the Illini battle Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg's undefeated Chicago Maroons. On game day – November 3, 1923 – a torrential downpour fell from the sky, making the stadium's surrounding walkways a veritable bog of mud. In spite of the adverse conditions, UI's Athletic Association took in a record $132,000 in gate receipts. From the on-set, the game was a defensive battle, due mostly to the slick field. A sophomore from Wheaton, Illinois named Harold Grange – who else – scored the first and only touchdown, rushing 24 times on the muddy field for 101 yards. The victory over UC was the sixth of eight consecutive wins for coach Bob Zuppke's Illini and the second of five straight shutouts. The 1923 football season marked not only the debut of Memorial Stadium and of its iconic player but also set the stage for historic seasons the following two years at Illinois. Historians also would argue that it laid a red carpet out for the early success of the fledgling National Football League."

– Mike Pearson, author of "Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Bob says: Ron Zook's 2007 Rose Bowl team did receive votes, including one for first place. Bob Zuppke and Ray Eliot each had three teams on the Top 10 list.

NFL PLAYERS

PLAYER VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Dick Butkus 191 (11)

2. Red Grange 161 (8)

3. Ray Nitschke 145 (1)

4. Bobby Mitchell 94

5. Simeon Rice 59

6. J.C. Caroline 46

7. Brad Hopkins 45

8. Scott Studwell 43

9. Dave Diehl 38

10. Jim Grabowski 32

In their words

"I have a very prejudiced opinion, and it's enormously positive. I don't think there's ever been a better football player than Dick Butkus. Period. Dick is in a class so all by himself. It's amazing. He was an absolute wonderful team. An absolute great player. A fun guy to be around after he finished. When he was with the Bears, Bill Taylor and I would go on recruiting visits to Chicago and go see him play. I wasn't surprised by what he did in the NFL. Some pro scouts were concerned about his speed. Well, all he did was run fast enough to tackle whoever had the ball. He got a knee bummed up early that he played with for a couple of years. He didn't have any injuries at Illinois. He was just such a dominant force. He certainly is a legend in my mind. You'd have to think with modern medicine that he would have been able to play longer. No matter what era he played in, he would have been great. That's what he was every step of the way."

– Jack Hart, Illinois assistant coach during Butkus era

Bob says: Great to see the voters honor Nitschke and Mitchell, who were much better players as pros than they were as collegians. Just missing the cut were Bill Brown, Larry McCarren, Doug Dieken and Howard Griffith.

DISAPPOINTMENTS

MOMENT VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Slush Fund scandal 167 (11)

2. 1984 Rose Bowl: UCLA 45, Illinois 9 156 (6)

3. Michigan State picked over Illinois for 1954 Rose Bowl 120

4. 1994: Penn State 35, Illinois 31 107 (1)

5. Mike White NCAA troubles 106

6. 2002 Sugar Bowl: LSU 47, Illinois 34 83 (1)

7. John Mackovic leaves for Texas 67

8. 2008: Western Michigan 23, Illinois 17 55 (1)

9. 2008 Rose Bowl: Southern Cal 49, Illinois 17 50

10. 1985 Peach Bowl: Army 31, Illinois 29 42

In their words

"I'm still vertical. It absolutely worked out for me. In 1965, I'm a junior in high school in Bad News, Newport News, Va. The recruiters from Illinois came to my hometown looking for the runner-up to O.J. Simpson for the Heisman Trophy, Leroy Keyes. The Big Ten was the conference. They didn't have restrictions on visiting schools. I visited seven Big Ten schools. I was a pretty big kid. How did I end up at Illinois? Relationships are what get things done in this world. Illinois was the first one at the plate with the flowers. So, I cultivated that relationship. I ended up selecting Illinois. I felt very good about it, and dollars had nothing to do with it. One school, the first thing they did was put $500 in my hand and said, 'This is spending money for the weekend.' I was the Virginia state champion in the shot put. In 1966, the Big Ten was allowing freshmen to compete in track and field. I'm in the locker room. I knew the investigation was going on. The guy comes in and says, 'Take your jockstrap off. You're finished as a player in the Big Ten.' That was the first time individuals got suspended. It was a rainy day when they came and they told me. There were more tears in my heart than coming out of the sky. Life for me, up to that point, had all been positive. An $84 plane ticket home over Thanksgiving is what cost me my career at Illinois. Somebody comes and says, 'Want to go home for Thanksgiving? Hell to the yes.' I took the trip home and came back, and in the spring, my career was over. If it hadn't happened, I think we would have been Big Ten champions my sophomore year. We had some incredible athletes. I came through it, and I'm a better person as a result of it. I went to Colorado and fell in love with the place."

– Derek Faison, former Illini, banned from Big Ten because of scandal

Bob says: Hats off to Faison, a successful Colorado businessman who openly talked about a difficult part of his life. It's an extremely sore subject for most of those who were involved.

PLAYS

PLAY VOTES (FIRST PLACE)

1. Grange kickoff return against Michigan 159 (15)

2. Juice Williams converts against Ohio State 132 (2)

3. Johnny Johnson to Jim Klein against Michigan 109 (1)

4. Howard Griffith's eighth touchdown against SIU 95 (1)

5. Rocky Harvey diving TD against Michigan 90

6. Jeff George to Shawn Wax against USC 64

7. Chris White field goal against Ohio State 55

8. Bruce Sullivan INT return against Michigan 53

9. Al Brosky's record interception against Minnesota 51

10. Jeff George to Mike Bellamy against Indiana 48

In their words

"The press had a field day for the months ahead of the October date, with all the insults mostly from Ann Arbor stating how overrated the Illini and Red Grange were. Coach Bob Zuppke, ever the master of psychology, worked this to fire up his team the entire spring and summer. The game started with Michigan choosing to kick off at 1:55 p.m., with Grange standing on the goal line. Zuppke had played with their minds by having his team remove their wool stockings, right before kickoff, something that had never been done. The fans, over 67,000, were just filing into the stadium in some areas when Red caught the ball out of the north end zone on his 5-yard line with his blockers in front as he ran to his right to avoid the first line of Michigan defenders cutting back at his 30, at full speed, never losing speed across the field. As he broke free, he ran to the east sideline and coasted to cross the goal for the first touchdown. Red was in shock at the ease of the run. He remarked many times in future years about the great blocking of the entire Illini team, failing to mention his own contributions. The entire stadium was stunned."

– Charlie Finn, Red Grange historian

Bob says: Apparently, Michigan hadn't read the scouting report. Why else would it kick to the national phenom? The play set the tone for one of the most dominant individual performances in college football history.

MEET THE PANELISTS:

JILL ALRED – 11-year Illini Quarterback Club board member

BOB ASMUSSEN – Entering 15th year as N-G Illinois football beat writer

BRIAN BARNHART – Current Voice of the Illini and WDWS personality

KENT BROWN – Illinois sports information director

TONY CLEMENTS – Ex-Illini, longtime UI campus rec director

FOWLER CONNELL – Longtime Commercial-News sports editor

BOB DOAN – Longtime Illini QB Club board member

CHARLIE FINN – Red Grange historian, 1953 senior football manager

HERB GOULD – Illinois beat writer for Chicago Sun-Times

HOWARD GRIFFITH – Star UI RB set NCAA record with eight-TD game

STEVE KELLY – Illinois sideline reporter, radio host

RON METZ – Recent Illini Quarterback Club president

MIKE PEARSON – Ex-Illinois SID, author "Illini Legends, Lists & Lore"

JIM SHEPPARD – Longtime Memorial Stadium PA announcer

JOHN SUPINIE – Illinois beat writer for GateHouse News Service

LOREN TATE – News-Gazette columnist, radio personality

MARK TUPPER – Longtime UI beat writer for Herald & Review

JIM TURPIN – Longtime Voice of the Illini

FRED WAKEFIELD – Former Illini defensive lineman

LINDSEY WILLHITE – UI beat writer for Arlington Heights Daily Herald

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

Comments

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illinitrueblue wrote on August 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

Interesting.

You might want to add Rich Kreitling as a receiver. He surely belongs in the top 10.

TotalIlliniFan wrote on August 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

This is interesting, but if we had more of a FB future maybe we would be looking at the past so much.

Ritster wrote on August 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

As far as memorable plays, I find it hard to believe that Thomas Rooks around right end versus Ohio State in 1983 is not one of the ten most memorable plays in Illini History.

It makes mine over the last 30 years

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