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).


Holly Hart/AP

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin dives into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season during the Illini's 42-3 win against Akron on Aug. 31 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

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Will Reggie Corbin be back for the Eastern Michigan game?

Bob says ...

Right now, I would put it at 50-50. The 1,000-yard rusher in 2018 was limited in practice Tuesday as he recovers from a hip pointer he sustained during the Illini’s 42-3 season-opening win against Akron on Aug. 31.

Fortunately for Illinois, it has good depth at the position. But the depth has been tested by early injuries to Mike Epstein (who is out for the year because of a knee injury) and Corbin. Add in the fact that Dre Brown got banged up, and the running back position isn’t quite so deep.

If Corbin is able to play Saturday, my guess is he won’t be getting the ball 20 times. The coaches want him healthy for Big Ten play, starting Sept. 21 against Nebraska.

Going into the season, there was a lot of talk about Corbin becoming the first back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher at Illinois since Robert Holcombe. And it remains a possibility. But the fewer games he plays, the harder it is to achieve.

Corbin certainly wants to return as soon as the medical personnel say “Go.” I don’t think he cares about the personal stuff, like his season yardage. He talks a lot about what he can do to help the team win.