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CHAMPAIGN - It's his first spring session ... at Illinois.
But Evan Wilson isn't new to practicing during the offseason. The sophomore tight end played in a state (Georgia) where spring football is part of the high school routine.
"It's a lot different than high school spring practice," Wilson said. "High school spring practice was a little laid back. This spring practice is definitely up tempo, intense. You've got to know your stuff. I enjoy it though."
Wilson made an impact as a freshman at Illinois, starting 11 games. He caught 10 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He also helped block for Mikel Leshoure, who set a single-season rushing record.
Wilson is using his first spring at Illinois to make across the board improvements: catching, blocking, ball security, running after the catch.
"It's all about the little things right now," Wilson said. "We definitely all have a base understanding of the offense. It's executing those little things so we can execute every play and score touchdowns."
Wilson is competing at tight end with Justin Lattimore and Eddie Viliunas, a converted quarterback.
"We're doing real good," Wilson said. "We're a tough group and we know our assignments well."
The three returnees will be challenged at Camp Rantoul by a pair of freshmen. Matt LaCosse is switching to the position after starring at quarterback for Naperville North. Illinois landed a late commitment from Jon Davis, a Louisville (Ky.) Eastern standout who had originally picked Kentucky. As a senior, Davis ran for 934 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 334 yards.