New Urbana coach has time to spare

URBANA – Urbana first-year coach Mike Hoskins has a number of items he could put on top of his to-do list.

But as he tries to resurrect the Tigers' football program, Hoskins has one thing he must repeat to himself to prevent him from looking too far ahead.

Jackson tackling new position

CHAMPAIGN – C.J. Jackson won't be catching passes this season. But he might be keeping people away from quarterback Juice Williams.

The walk-on from the Illinois basketball team has been moved from tight end to tackle. Illinois coach Ron Zook said the switch made sense for Jackson, who traded in his No. 85 jersey for a No. 72.

Tate: Turnaround depends on Juice, receivers, punting, coaches

CHAMPAIGN – Don't ask! The Illini football season could go either way. It could be 8-4 or better. It could be 4-8 or worse. Ron Guenther, Ron Zook and Ronald McDonald, no one knows for sure.

Too many imponderables. Too many variables.

4-8 or 8-4?

There are a number of games on the Illinois schedule that may determine whether or not the team earns a bowl bid. Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen picks four:

Illini misses cut at U.S. Amateur

DALY CITY, Calif. – Jason Kokrak's 3-under-par topped the two-day leaderboard at the U.S. Amateur on Tuesday, though 54 players had yet to complete all 36 holes before darkness halted stroke play. Champaign's Clayton Parkhill, an Illini golfer, shot 81 Tuesday and will miss the expected cut by 9 strokes.

Chargers laying it all on the line

CHAMPAIGN – Bad news for Centennial's nine Big 12 Conference opponents on the football field this season.

Tailback Mikel Leshoure says he's more prepared physically for the challenges ahead.

Judge grants continuance in ex-football player's case

URBANA – A trial for a former University of Illinois football player accused of stealing property from student apartments will be pushed back to allow a defense attorney time to look for evidence.

Derrick McPhearson, 21, and Joseph "Jody" Ellis, 20, both face residential burglary charges. McPhearson's trial was scheduled to begin Monday, but Judge Thomas Difanis granted a continuance sought by defense attorney Robert Kirchner.

Illini gentle on Benn

CHAMPAIGN – He was wearing the uniform color normally reserved for quarterbacks. The one that means "hands off."

After more than a week away with a strained shoulder, freshman receiver Arrelious Benn returned to practice Monday.

Tate: Stricker one of UI's prominent professional athletes

URBANA – When Steve Stricker made his annual fundraising visit to the UI campus a year ago, he was greeted by a telephone call informing that his quest for the U.S. Ryder Cup team had been denied.

Unconvincing, apparently, was his PGA Comeback Player of the Year status.

Williams on U.S. squad

LAS VEGAS – Kevin Durant will have to wait to wear the red, white and blue in international play.

The Seattle rookie was one of two players cut Monday night as the United States got down to the 12-player limit for the Olympic qualifying tournament that begins Wednesday.