Ex-Illini George knows the feeling

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers likely take Jameis Winston first in Thursday night’s NFL draft, he becomes the 30th quarterback picked No. 1 overall.

Jeff George knows the feeling.

The next Illini drafted is ...

Illinois might endure another NFL draft without having one of its players selected.

That's only happened twice in the 21st century.

And if no Illini hears their name called among the 256 picks chosen from Thursday night through Saturday, it'll mark the first time in program history that no Illini has been picked in consecutive drafts.

What's up with that?

Sinclair: Gun incident on I-74 'absolutely' stupid

URBANA — Matt Sinclair admitted to a Champaign County jury Tuesday that pulling a gun on a friend on an interstate highway as a prank was "absolutely" stupid.

Finke will continue 'passion' at Central

CHAMPAIGN — Jeff Finke had an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals to sign out of high school following a two-day tryout. He was also recruited nationally in football after helping lead Casey-Westfield to the 1985 Class 2A state title.

But it was a basketball scholarship from Lou Henson at Illinois that he accepted. For one main reason. It was his passion.

April 30 Illinois football chat

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 2:00pm

Hard to believe the first official practice of the 2015 season is almost three months away. Ditto for Big Ten media days. With spring ball done, what are the biggest areas facing Tim Beckman's Illini before the 2015 season kicks off against Kent State? Ask sports editor and beat writer Matt Daniels in his 2 p.m.

Daniels' College Football Extra — Ferguson in spotlight

CHAMPAIGN — Josh Ferguson celebrates his 22nd birthday on May 23.

Three weeks after the final day of the NFL draft, held this year at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

About a 45-minute drive from where the Illinois running back grew up in Naperville.

Ferguson won’t hear his name called among the 256 picks chosen during the seven rounds, which get going Thursday night.

Remembering Illinois' last first pick

There was no party at the George home in Carmel, Ind., on Wednesday night. No sheet cake with “Happy 25th” written in icing.

That wouldn’t fit Jeff George’s style or personality.

“It’s not really anything,” Illinois freshman quarterback Jeff George Jr. said. “I’m pretty sure Dad’s with my brother doing baseball things right now.”

Tate: On paper, football has made strides

Coaches routinely stress that last year’s outcomes have no current bearing.

Illini Nation must hope that is true. Because every time somebody asks if the Illini are improved in football, my response is, “Yes.” But then I think about the schedule.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Tauja Catchings

On this date 15 years ago, Illini women’s basketball star Tauja Catchings was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. She finished her career in the top 10 of several Illini categories, including first in games played with 122.

April 27 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, April 27, 2015 - 11:00am

What did Bob Asmussen think of the spring for Illinois football? Does he envision a bowl game for Tim Beckman's team? How did Asmussen fare in Friday's night 5K in Champaign-Urbana? What does he think of Illinois baseball's chances of hosting an NCAA regional? Anything is fair game in his weekly chat, which gets going at 11 a.m. on Monday.