College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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In his 30th year on the Illinois football beat, AP Top 25 voter Bob Asmussen is on call 24/7. Submit your questions BY CLICKING HERE and he’ll chase down answers.


Bob, according to the transfer portal it seems like OL Zeke Martin, Larry Boyd, RB Mitch McNutt, QB MJ Rivers, and DB Bennett Williams haven’t found a team to which they can transfer yet. I’m more than a little surprised they couldn’t even get a schollie to some lower Div I schools or one of the better JCs. Do you have any idea what the status is for these players? Any chance they’ll come back to the Illini?

Williams UI FB 1011

Bennett Williams

Bob says ...

Let’s start with the ones I know:

Bennett Williams transferred to San Mateo (Calif.) Junior College. According to his Twitter feed, he just picked up an offer from Oregon. That would be a great landing spot for a guy who starred his freshman year at Illinois, then got dismissed from the team.

I have talked to him since he left and he is still the same friendly guy he was when he was in C-U. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.


GCMS running back Mitch McNutt had a banner season for the state champion Falcons, rushing for an area-best 1,693 yards and 32 touchdowns — good enough for the senior to get his name put in lights on the city’s sign in the middle of town. 

Mitch McNutt is at Wisconsin-Platteville, where he could play a number of positions this season.

I am going to have to do more research on the rest. They remain in the portal for a reason. Either lack of ability or academic issues.

Lovie Smith tends to move on from players once they leave Illinois for any reason other than graduation. My guess is none of them will be asked back.