Football

Football

Top 50 Illini Football Players of 2016: No. 13, Joe Spencer

No. 13: Joe Spencer, OL

Mom giving back with son in mind

CHAMPAIGN — When Stacey Jackson talks about the friendship between Josh Brent and her late son Jerry Brown, she often laughs. The two entered the University of Illinois at the same time, defensive players who signed on to play football for Ron Zook.

A chef at the UI, Jackson was oftentimes tasked with feeding the 300-pound behemoths.

Tate: Positive vibes not beyond home base

Lovie Smith is bullish on the Illini, and the folks in Illini Nation love Lovie.

In football discussions, he’s the hottest thing in town. And when he talks privately, he lauds the NFL potential of his defensive linemen and foresees great possibilities in the first six games (four home dates, and trips to Nebraska and Rutgers before, ugh, Michigan).

Top 50 College Football Teams of 2016: No. 14, Georgia

Coach: Kirby Smart

2015 record: 10-3

Projected 2016 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Oct. 1 vs. Tennessee

Bowl trip: Outback

Top 50 Illini Football Players of 2016: No. 14, James Crawford

No. 14: James Crawford, LB

July 21 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 3:00pm

When is Big Ten football's media days? What will Lovie Smith and the three Illini who are going with the new Illinois coach to Chicago have to say? What is the latest with Jordan Goodwin? Will Kipper Nichols play this season for the Illini? How will the area high school football scene fare? Any topic is welcome as sports editor Matt Daniels takes your questions at 3 p.m.

Top 50 College Football Teams of 2016: No. 15, Ole Miss

Coach: Hugh Freeze

2015 record: 10-3

Projected 2016 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Sept. 17 vs. Alabama

Bowl trip: TaxSlayer

Top 50 Illini Football Players of 2016: No. 15, Mikey Dudek

No. 15: Mikey Dudek, WR

Updated: Illini set camp schedule

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois football team opens training camp Aug. 4 on the fields east of Memorial Stadium. It will be Lovie Smith's first camp in charge of the program.

All of the practices are open to the public.

The sessions run until Aug. 20. Starting on Aug. 21, practices will be closed to the public.

The opening workout is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Top 50 College Football Teams of 2016: No. 16, UCLA

Coach: Jim Mora

2015 record: 8-5

Projected 2016 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Nov. 19 vs. Southern Cal

Bowl trip: Rose