Spring football notebook: Safety not a concern

Monday saw the ninth of 15 practices for Tim Beckman’s Illini.

Here are three items that caught beat writer MATT DANIELS’ eye:

— A year ago, it wasn’t a guarantee that Taylor Barton would crack the starting lineup at free safety.

Marching Illini director seeking same position at Ohio State

The Director of the University of Illinois Marching Illini and Athletic Bands is one of the finalists for the same position at the Ohio State University.

OSU Senior Director of Communications Gary Lewis said Barry Houser, who is also Assistant Band Director at the UI, is on the OSU campus this week participating in the interview process for that school's marching band director.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Stephen Bardo

Happy 47th birthday to Flyin’ Illini alum Stephen Bardo. The son of Dr. Harold Bardo, former Southern Illinois University athlete and longtime director of SIU’s Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program, was recruited to Illinois by Lou Henson.

Football notebook: Work to be done on offense

FLOSSMOOR — Ted Karras was still in a purple jersey on Friday night. 

The right guard for Illinois will wear the jersey designated for injured Illinois players the rest of spring drills.

He might have helped the Illini offense at Homewood-Flossmoor. But the top offensive lineman for Illinois can’t block all four defensive linemen at the same time.

Defense on fire in chilly scrimmage

FLOSSMOOR — The sight of Mike Phair and Mike Ward in shorts was common through the first seven Illinois spring practices in Champaign.

Exquisite weather for March in East Central Illinois perhaps was the reason. 

Asmussen: Chicago good for football team

FLOSSMOOR ­— If you build it — and Homewood-Flossmoor certainly did — Illinois will come.

Craig Buzea’s college-like practice facilities hosted the Illinois football team Friday night.

The weather and the timing (Good Friday, spring break) kept the crowd to a minimum.

April 7 Bob Asmussen chat

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:00am

Longtime News-Gazette staff writer Bob Asmussen remembers John Wooden's dynasty at UCLA and what it was like to see NC State end the run. Who will win Monday's NCAA title game? How did the Illinois football team look at Homewood-Flossmoor? Will Champaign get a new high school? No topics are off limits.

LIVE! Illini in Flossmoor

7:40 p.m.

Getaway day for Illini

Illinois is nearly halfway through spring practices.

With the season opener against Kent State a mere five months away, what are the biggest concerns for Tim Beckman's fourth Illini team?

How has Wes Lunt looked? What about recruiting?

Is a second straight bowl game in the future for Illinois? Will Bill Cubit run the ball more this season?

Spring prep: Still work to be done before scrimmage

Wednesday saw the seventh of 15 practices for Tim Beckman’s Illini. Here are three items that caught beat writer Matt Daniels’ eye:

— Weather wasn’t a problem on Wednesday morning. Hasn’t been all spring for the Illini.

“Being able to be out in this weather, we haven’t had weather like this since I’ve been here,” Beckman said.