Spring recap: Illinois
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The Big Ten wrapped up spring drills last weekend. Here are beat writer Bob Asmussen's winners and losers for each of the league's 12 schools:
Thumbs up: Ryan Lankford
The guy caught six passes in 2010. Based on the way he played in the spring, he should have that many in most games. With A.J. Jenkins and Darius Millines sidelined by injuries, Lankford caught pass after pass from Nathan Scheelhaase, improving a connection that should carry over to the 2011 season.
Thumbs down: Jason Ford
Not his fault that he got hurt. It happens. But Mikel Leshoure's replacement has raised concerns about his durability for a 12-game season. Off the field, he will be punished internally after a spring arrest for driving on a suspended license. Again, it happens to plenty of people, but it doesn't show a great level of responsibility. Ford will have to stay out of trouble for the rest of the summer, but he has the potential for a big senior season.