Top 50 most important Illini: No. 27, Cameron Watkins

Best of ... Illini

No. 27: Cameron Watkins, DB

PODCAST: News Gazette SportsPage 07-03-17

PODCAST: News Gazette SportsPage 07-03-17: Play now!

Matt Daniels, Bob Asmussen, and Scott Richey discuss Illinois football and basketball recruiting.


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Top 50 most important Illini: No. 29, Dele Harding

Best of ... Illini

No. 29: Dele Harding, LB

July 6 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 2:00pm

With Year in Review coverage coming up this weekend (preps) and next (Illinois), it's almost time to hit the reset button and turn focus to the next school year. What do you want to see from The News-Gazette sports section? What could be the biggest storylines this fall? Do you know someone who has an interesting story to tell?

July 5 Illinois basketball chat

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 12:30pm

The Illini's summer workouts are about to enter their second month. The Illinois coaching staff, meanwhile, is about to hit the road again for the July evaluation periods. Could Brad Underwood and Co. start to close the deal on some 2018 recruits? Will new names pop up on Illinois' recruiting radar? July could be just as interesting (and busy) as April.

Top 50 most important Illini: No. 28, Larry Boyd, OL

Why he's important: Boyd's importance is two-fold. In the short term, the incoming freshman could find himself starting at one of the guard positions on the offensive line. At 6-foot-6 and 360 pounds, Boyd has a Big Ten-ready body and the pedigree — consensus top 50 guard nationally in the 2016 class — to take advantage of a thin Illini line and play right away.

Top 50 most important teams: No. 28, Notre Dame

Coach: Brian Kelly

2016 record: 4-8

Projected 2017 record: 8-4

Circle the date: Oct. 21 vs. Southern Cal

Bowl trip: Pinstripe

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Edgar Holt

Sharing the same birthdate as Bob Zuppke, a man who would eventually succeed him as head coach of the Fighting Illini football team, Edgar Garrison Holt stands as the most successful Illinois mentor among men who coached for more than one season.

Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 29, Virginia Tech

Best of ... Teams

No. 29: Virginia Tech

Coach: Justin Fuente

2016 record: 10-4

Projected 2017 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Sept. 30 vs. Clemson

Bowl trip: Belk

Crouch: 'This is my team'

Michael Kiserand Loren Tate kept the airwaves humming with "Saturday SportsTalk" on WDWS 1400-AM. A sample of what was said during the two-hour program:

Lovie Smith hasn't come out publicly and said who the starting quarterback will be at Illinois for the 2017 season.

All indications, though, seem to point directly towards Chayce Crouch.