Football

Football

UI football snags two sought-after recruits

Hear from Lovie Smith Saturday at 9:10 on WDWS.

CHAMPAIGN ­— On the field Thursday, the Illinois football team moved closer to final preparations for its opener against Murray State.

Off the field, the program got good news from a pair of sought-after recruits.

Beckman, Tar Heels part ways

Tim Beckman’s stay at North Carolina didn’t last long.

The former Illinois coach, who was fired in late August 2015 after an independent investigation found he mistreated players and deterred them from reporting injuries, left his post as a volunteer assistant with the Tar Heels on Thursday evening.

Illinois and North Carolna meet at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Memorial Stadium.

Lovie lands another one

Lovie Smith won a key recruiting battle regarding a Chicago-area prospect on Thursday.

Huntley defensive end Olalere Oladipo plans to play college football for Smith at Illinois, announcing his decision in his high school's cafeteria on Thursday evening.

4-star Illini commit: 'I loved it out there'

Florida receiver Carmoni Green said today that he will play his college football at Illinois.

"When I went on the visit, I loved it out there," Green said. "And my mom loved the school too. That played a big part in it."

Green, who plays at Miami Central, said other schools at the top of his list included Utah, Washington State, Oregon State and Pitt.

Tar Heels coach defends Beckman hire

Larry Fedora was surrounded by reporters after North Carolina’s practice Wednesday.
The hot topic: a volunteer assistant.

Former Illinois head coach Tim Beckman has been with the Tar Heels since the start of training camp.

Survey Says: Caleb Day and Man Berg

We asked the Illinois football players 10 questions about their likes and dislikes. We will publish their responses each day leading up to the opener against Murray State on Sept. 3. Today’s guests ...
Defensive back Caleb Day ...

Will the Cubs win the World Series?
Not a fan ... maybe.

Megginson, mates earn day of rest

CHAMPAIGN — For the first time this month, the Illinois football team has Saturday off.

“You kind of just lose track of days over camp,” Illinois offensive lineman Gabe Megginson said after Tuesday’s workout. “Some of the guys are like, ‘Is (the opener) this Saturday?’ ”

The Illini don’t play their first game until Sept. 3 against Murray State.

N-G Exclusive: Beckman might return to C-U

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — As the one-year anniversary of his firing at Illinois approaches, Tim Beckman has a new gig.

North Carolina officials confirmed Tuesday that Beckman is a volunteer assistant on Larry Fedora’s staff.

The Tar Heels play at Memorial Stadium in a prime-time game on Sept. 10.

No word yet on whether Beckman will be a part of the travel party.

Survey Says: Christian Bobak and D.J. Taylor

We asked the Illinois football players 10 questions about their likes and dislikes. We will publish their responses each day leading up to the opener against Murray State on Sept. 3. Today’s guests ...

Running back Christian Bobak ...

Tate: Read on line play will have to wait

The UI’s most articulate team spokesman, senior center Joe Spencer, agrees that the “big uglies” he faces each day in football practice are, in his words, “a team strength.”

“I love going against them every day,” said the 300-pound Ohioan, mentioning defensive antagonists Rob Bain, Chunky Clements, Jamal Milan, Carroll Phillips and Dawuane Smoot.