Asmussen: Remembering the past

Asmussen: Remembering the past

Sure, Champaign-Urbana has produced its fair share of talented athletes. But there are plenty of others who got away.

Time to catch up with a few.

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Kai Locksley
The son of former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is a star dual-threat quarterback/athlete at Baltimore Gilman. Going into his senior season, he has offers from big-time football powers Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas.

Of course Dad, now the offensive coordinator at Maryland, is recruiting him for the Terps.

The younger Locksley is rated No. 12 at his position by and is considered a four-star player. With all the knowledge he gained hanging around his dad, his football IQ is likely off the charts. At 6-foot-4, he has the right height to play quarterback for a top program. And he’s going to get the chance.

V.J. Bailey

When Mom Tonja Buford Bailey left Illinois to coach the track program at Texas, she took with her C-U’s next basketball phenom. Coming off his freshman year in McNeil, Texas, Bailey is considered a top talent in the Class of 2017.

He was being scouted as a middle school player, and the interest is only going to increase for the 6-foot-4 guard.

Schools should be excited about his athletic background. Mom was a track star and ran in the Olympics. Dad played college (Missouri) and pro football as a receiver.

Luc Bequette

Standout defensive lineman at Centennial is getting a taste of the SEC after moving to Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic. The one-time C-U Little League home run derby champ has college options. He has offers from Cal, Air Force and Louisiana-Monroe.  Bequette earned a spot on The News-Gazette All-Area second team in 2013.

Luc’s dad Chris, grandpa, uncle and cousin all played football at Arkansas. The best athlete in the family is his mom, Olympic figure skating medalist Debi Thomas.

Bob Asmussen writes three columns a week for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at 217-351-5233 or by email at

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