Ex-Illini in the NFL: Training camp update
With NFL preseason games starting this week, a look at former Illini competing for roster spots around the league:
Jeff Allen, Chiefs
— Athletic behemoth may move to guard from his tackle position.
Jon Asamoah, Chiefs
— Underrated high school recruit, should start at guard again.
Alan Ball, Texans
— Former Cowboy probably a reserve at cornerback — possibly even nickelback.
Travon Bellamy, Redskins
— College cornerback, this native of the D.C. area hoping to land a spot as a safety.
Arrelious Benn, Buccaneers
— Already in danger of losing his starting spot at receiver, top Ron Zook recruit suffered a knee injury on the first day of practice and will be out for about a month.
Josh Brent, Cowboys
— Pride of Bloomington Central Catholic looks like a lock at backup nose tackle.
Jerry Brown, Colts
— Outside linebacker candidate, a St. Louis native, didn't complete his Illinois eligibility, then tried Arena League, CFL.
Nate Bussey, Saints
— On the active roster at the end of last season, former high school quarterback is fighting for a roster spot at linebacker.
Jack Cornell, Ravens
— Guard/Packers fan living a dream, going from undrafted free agent to practicing with the first unit this week.
Jeff Cumberland, Jets
— Sure-handed tight end is serving as backup to Dustin Keller and no longer forming illegal sideline walls.
Vontae Davis, Dolphins
— First-round pick from D.C., in his fourth season with the Dolphins, once again will start at cornerback.
Dave Diehl, Giants
— Two-time Super Bowl champ, a mainstay on the offensive line, is projected to move from guard to left tackle.
Derek Dimke, Lions
— Beating out ageless kicker Jason Hanson is a big challenge. Better bet is landing a practice squad spot.
Jarred Fayson, Colts
— Receiver has missed time with an undisclosed injury, making it harder for the free agent to stick.
Kelvin Hayden, Bears
— After missing 20 games the last three seasons with the Colts, the now-healthy cornerback is pushing for a starting spot.
Michael Hoomanawanui, Rams
— If he can stay healthy, the athletic BCC product should start at tight end.
A.J. Jenkins, 49ers
— First-round pick will make the team. But 49ers have veteran receivers on hand, including Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.
Mikel Leshoure, Lions
— If Leshoure keeps his off-field problems in the past, Centennial grad could be the team's primary tailback. He'll sit first two games as part of NFL penalties.
Corey Liuget, Chargers
— First-round draft pick, entering his second year, will start at defensive end and should excel under new coordinator.
Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
— Dinged up enough to miss contact two days this week, Lloyd should be a good fit.
Eddie McGee, Raiders
— Reports indicate he's having a strong camp as a backup receiver.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
— Veteran tailback is recovering from an ACL tear, so the Steelers are taking their time with Mendenhall's rehab.
Whitney Mercilus, Texans
— Coming off 16-sack season, first-round pick projected to play primarily on passing downs as an energized defensive end.
Brit Miller, Rams
— Decatur's finest, a standout linebacker with Illinois, could be the starter at fullback.
Brandon Moore, Jets
— Guard didn't allow a sack last season.
Neil Rackers, Redskins
— Battling someone named Graham Gano for kicking duties. Rackers has 261 career field goals, Gano has 58.
Pierre Thomas, Saints
— Hard to believe former N-G All-State Player of the Year entering his sixth season.
Steve Weatherford, Giants
— One of three punters (Michael Koenen and Todd Sauerbrun) to get franchise tag.
Martez Wilson, Saints
— Saints are moving him from linebacker to defensive end.
Tavon Wilson, Patriots
— Rookie free safety has been able to spend some time with the first unit in drills, should make the final roster.