Asmussen | Larger-than-life Bezhanishvili's personality puts him on special list of Illini

Admit it, Illinois fans, you have developed a soft spot for Giorgi Bezhanishvili. Even if you don't know how to properly pronounce his last name. (I can relate).

When he dropped 35 points on Rutgers, it moved him up a peg on the popularity list.

Or 20.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 13, 2019

Introducing JULIA GREUEL, a junior at the University of Illinois and the next president of Illini Pride, the student organization that supports sports of all sorts.

Third and long: Asmussen's most surprising 2019 recruiting classes

Our college football writer is counting down the days until the 2019 season. Here are his most surprising recruiting classes around the nation:

1. Oregon

Rivals: No. 7

Asmussen | Trio of QBs honing skills ahead of fall's inevitable starting battle

Last time Illinois had three quarterbacks in the same recruiting class — before 2018 — was in 1996. Lou Tepper's signees included Justin Cella, Brian Sheard and Tim Lavery.

First and 10: Asmussen's wish list of schools to join the Big Ten

Our college football writer's list of schools he would like to join the Big Ten, which needs two additions to go from an uncomfortable 14 to an easy-to-manage 16:

Four downs: New Illini linebackers coach Miles Smith

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen chatted with new Illini linebackers coach Miles Smith, who officially joined the staff Wednesday. Lovie Smith's son thinks the defense can improve in a hurry. "We have a chance to completely turn around what our product was last year with the additions we have and maybe switching some guys around to different positions. We just wants athletes.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 9, 2019

It's not quite as big as, say, State Farm Center, but JESSE NAUMAN's "Illini Room" in the basement of his house in Granville takes up serious space.

"At some point, it became an obsession," the 41-year-old UI grad said of his memorabilia collection. "I'm just about out of room."

Feb. 11 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:00am

Who will replace Luke Butkus as Illinois offensive line coach? Who will work with the running backs? How many more players will Lovie Smith add before training camp starts?

For the answers to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime Illinois football beat writer.

Illini strength coach to Bengals

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football coach Lovie Smith has even more to do to fill out his coaching staff for the 2019 season. With two assistant coaching spots to fill already after the departures of Thad Ward and Luke Butkus, Smith must now find a new strength and conditioning coach.