Ward confident starting role was a match made for him

   RANTOUL  The last time he stepped on the field as a starter, Dustin Ward knew it was a temporary gig. He replaced injured Kurt Kittner against Northwestern in the 2000 season finale.

   This time, it''s his to keep.

Illinois Football Camp Rantoul

Some players join a college team with great expectations of stardom. Brad Haywood isn''t one of them.

The No. 2 fullback simply wants to help. Nothing more. Give him the dirty work, and he''ll do it with a smile.

Ward named starting QB

RANTOUL – For the first time since 1960, Illinois will open the season with a Champaign native at quarterback.

Centennial graduate Dustin Ward, a two-year backup to Kurt Kittner, was named the starter today for Illinois'' Aug. 31 game against Missouri. Before Ward, the last Champaign product to start at quarterback for the Illini was John Easterbrook.

Tate: Powell lets UI size up situation

Maybe Illinois won''t play small ball next season after all.

The performance of 6-foot-6 sophomore Roger Powell in the Big Ten All-Stars'' European tour cast a new light on the projected UI basketball lineup.

Defensive end an Illini strength

RANTOUL – His head coach calls him one of the best defensive ends in the country. His position coach compares him to the No. 2 pick (Julius Peppers) in the most recent NFL draft.

Not bad for a guy who has never started a college football game.

Camp Rantoul - UI scrimmage

RANTOUL – And the starting quarterback is ... check back tomorrow. Or Tuesday. Or Friday.

Illinois juniors Dustin Ward and Jon Beutjer gave coach Ron Turner more to consider during Saturday night''s scrimmage at Bill Walsh Field.

Letter from Europe - Sean Harrington

Today was our last full day in Europe, and I was ready to come home. I did a lot of shopping today in Amsterdam and bought some T-shirts and other souvenirs for my family. The streets were crowded, and I noticed a lot of clothing and shoe stores. I guess Amsterdam is known as a fashion center in Europe. It was nice to walk around and see a lot of the area.

Hill, Big Ten come back to win finale

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Michigan State''s Chris Hill scored 22 points, leading the Big Ten Men''s Basketball Foreign Tour squad to a 92-84 win against the Ricoh Astronauts on Saturday night.

The victory in the final game of the tour gave Bill Self''s squad a 4-1 record.

Tate: Illini have best kind of problem

RANTOUL – It has been the widespread belief, even by Illini critics, that Ron Turner could field a title-challenging football team if one of the "unknown quarterbacks" steps up to replace Kurt Kittner.

But what if both do?

Burning desire to win colors full spectrum of Beutjer´s life

He wants to win, even when it comes to doing the dishes. Or taking out the trash. Or softball.

Playing Apartment Staredown with roommate/teammate Eric McGoey, Jon Beutjer is hellbent on not giving in. He doesn''t want to lose the chore wars.