Here are News-Gazette staff writer Bob Asmussen''s picks for the top three recruiting classes signed by Big Ten schools Wednesday:
Illinois gymnast Justin Spring was named the NCAA Men''s Gymnast of the Week by Inside Gymnastics Magazine and the Big Ten''s Men''s Gymnast of the Week on Wednesday for his performance last weekend against Ohio State.
CHAMPAIGN – It appears there is only one obstacle to Brian Glynn joining the list of great wrestlers that dot the Illinois history books.
"I always joke around with Mark (Johnson), ''If I grow 3 more inches, I''m going out for the football team,'' " said Glynn, a 5-foot-10 study in sculpted body mass.
The News-Gazette''s Bob Asmussen takes a closer look at the 24 student-athletes who signed letters of intent to play football at Illinois
CHAMPAIGN – Bryant Creamer thought he was being funny. Illinois coach Ron Turner wasn''t so sure.
The anxious Illinois coach took a call from The News-Gazette All-State receiver Tuesday night. Creamer was the final player the Illini were waiting on to complete their 2004 recruiting class. Though Turner felt good about his chances with Creamer, coaches never count on a commitment until they hear the decision.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – He can run down Green Street. In his old Purdue sweats. Or naked.
He can open his e-mail. Without covering his eyes.
One of the most prolific goal scorers in the area will take her skills to the University of Illinois. Ella Masar, a senior at Urbana, will sign a letter of intent with coach Janet Rayfield''s Illini today.
Masar set an area single-season record with 40 goals while earning coaches'' all-state recognition for an 18-4 Tigers team. Masar needs 10 goals this spring to break Katie Stephens'' school record of 86 career scores.
BLOOMINGTON – Two games at Memorial Stadium. Two losses by a combined 85-26. Starting in 2004, Bloomington''s Justin Harrison promises it will get better.
The star safety will sign with Illinois today, one of six 2003 News-Gazette All-Staters to join Ron Turner''s team. None of the new Illini have been on the Memorial Stadium surface as much as Harrison, who twice helped Bloomington to the state finals.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Don''t blame Deron Williams for that crucial foul.
His fourth one? The one that sent him to the bench with 9 minutes to play and Illinois trailing at Indiana?