Jonathan Brown progressing

Jonathan Brown was a noticeable absence on the field this spring for Illinois.

The senior linebacker spurned leaving early for the NFL draft while he was recovering from shoulder ailments that plagued his 2012 season.

He missed the final three games of last year while dealing with a shoulder injury that did not allow him to partake in contact drills during spring ball.

“It’s gotten better,” UI coach Tim Beckman said. “He focused a lot on his academics. Jonathan is a good, good football player. There’s no doubt about it.”

Beckman and his staff chart the number of repetitions each starter has. Brown had at least 200 fewer repetitions in 2012 than he did in 2011 while other returning starters last fall like Supo Sanni and Steve Hull did not play for significant stretches because of injury.

“Everybody points at, ‘Well, your defense wasn’t as good,’ ” Beckman said. “Those guys that were playing the year before weren’t there. Two of those guys went to the NFL and were first- and second-round draft choices (in Whitney Mercilus and Tavon Wilson). You’re playing with six (experienced) guys then instead of nine.”

Recruiting update
Newark Catholic (Ohio) quarterback Chayce Crouch’s commitment on Wednesday night  whittles the available scholarships Illinois has for the Class of 2014 to 10.
Of course, recruiting numbers are always fluid and could change by the time national signing day arrives on Feb. 5, 2014.

Crouch’s verbal gave Illinois four players in the Class of 2014 after Centerville (Ohio) defensive tackle Tito Odenigbo, Lincoln-Way East center Nick Allegretti and Neuqua Valley wide receiver/kick returner Mike Dudek already pledged to Illinois since early March.

“You’re a lot more choosy,” Tim Beckman said. “You look for those positions that you need. Wide receiver will be a huge position because we lose four wide receivers. That will be a big need for us in next year’s recruiting class.”
Beckman is hopeful the new scoreboard in the south end zone at Memorial Stadium and new ribbon boards that are going up between the seating decks can entice future recruits.

“It’s what I call eye candy, and what eye candy is for an 18-year-old to walk into your stadium and see the newness and the things that are happening in the program,” he said. “I think that’s huge for a young man when he’s making his decision, and I also think it’s something to express to the Illini faithful and fans that this new system is state of the art. It’s a way to move our program forward and try to build a consistent winner.”





 

Jonathan Brown was a noticeable absence on the field this spring for Illinois.

The senior linebacker spurned leaving early for the NFL draft while he was recovering from shoulder ailments that plagued his 2012 season.

He missed the final three games of last year while dealing with a shoulder injury that did not allow him to partake in contact drills during spring ball.

“It’s gotten better,” UI coach Tim Beckman said. “He focused a lot on his academics. Jonathan is a good, good football player. There’s no doubt about it.”

Beckman and his staff chart the number of repetitions each starter has. Brown had at least 200 fewer repetitions in 2012 than he did in 2011 while other returning starters last fall like Supo Sanni and Steve Hull did not play for significant stretches because of injury.

“Everybody points at, ‘Well, your defense wasn’t as good,’ ” Beckman said. “Those guys that were playing the year before weren’t there. Two of those guys went to the NFL and were first- and second-round draft choices (in Whitney Mercilus and Tavon Wilson). You’re playing with six (experienced) guys then instead of nine.”

Recruiting update
Newark Catholic (Ohio) quarterback Chayce Crouch’s commitment on Wednesday night  whittles the available scholarships Illinois has for the Class of 2014 to 10.
Of course, recruiting numbers are always fluid and could change by the time national signing day arrives on Feb. 5, 2014.

Crouch’s verbal gave Illinois four players in the Class of 2014 after Centerville (Ohio) defensive tackle Tito Odenigbo, Lincoln-Way East center Nick Allegretti and Neuqua Valley wide receiver/kick returner Mike Dudek already pledged to Illinois since early March.

“You’re a lot more choosy,” Tim Beckman said. “You look for those positions that you need. Wide receiver will be a huge position because we lose four wide receivers. That will be a big need for us in next year’s recruiting class.”
Beckman is hopeful the new scoreboard in the south end zone at Memorial Stadium and new ribbon boards that are going up between the seating decks can entice future recruits.

“It’s what I call eye candy, and what eye candy is for an 18-year-old to walk into your stadium and see the newness and the things that are happening in the program,” he said. “I think that’s huge for a young man when he’s making his decision, and I also think it’s something to express to the Illini faithful and fans that this new system is state of the art. It’s a way to move our program forward and try to build a consistent winner.”





 

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