CHAMPAIGN – He is, Illinois tailback E.B. Halsey quickly admits, lucky to be here. Near the open fields, the friendly people and the safe streets he has grown to love.
Two moments, two errors in judgment, could have sent him in a different direction. An ugly direction where futures are bleak.
Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell grew up in the same state as Rutgers. And went to Penn State.
Joe Theismann grew up in the same state as Rutgers. And went to Notre Dame.
Staff writer Brett Dawson chatted with the former Illini great, who calls a good game on radio and is one of 114 voting members of the Harris Poll:
CHICAGO – He walked off Soldier Field on Thursday night as casual and confident as he did many times before at Memorial Stadium.
Kurt Kittner doesn't show a lot of emotion. He doesn't say many words. In fact, it's hard to tell if Kittner is ready to hit the town in celebration or pound a locker in frustration.
CHAMPAIGN – Illinois coach Ron Zook said Thursday no final decision has been made on the status of quarterback Kisan Flakes.
Flakes pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis, a felony. He was given first offender probation, which means he will have no record of the conviction if he has no other law trouble in the next 30 months. Flakes also was ordered to perform community service, fined and ordered to get a substance-abuse evaluation.
The coaching staff is new. A stadium approaching its 82rd birthday has a major face-lift in its future. The record could dearly use a new look, too.
As Ron Zook's first Illini football team prepares for its debut, change is definitely in the air at Memorial Stadium.