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LUKE FORD

Would you have placed money upon the junior tight end being Illinois’ leading spring game receiver prior to the event? That’s exactly what happened for the Carterville native — who caught two passes last season. But he hauled in five for 88 yards and a nice one-handed TD grab.

CHASE HAYDEN

Yes, fellow running backs Chase Brown and Reggie Love III looked solid, as well. But this was the East Carolina transfer’s first chance to show off for Illini fans. The junior amassed 52 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven carries, and he broke multiple tackles on his TD run.

CALVIN AVERY

The junior defensive tackle saw time in seven games last season, so he’s not an unknown commodity. But Avery showed Monday he could contend for a starting spot within a veteran unit, relentlessly tearing through the Blue team’s offensive line and notching two tackles for loss.

KEITH RANDOLPH JR.

Another guy who garnered meaningful playing time last season — in five games on the defensive line — but who might be capable of more in 2021. Randolph tied for the second-most Orange team tackles Monday with four and added an 11-yard tackle for loss.

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at clikas@news-gazette.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).

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