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Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette Illinois RB Reggie Corbin runs with the ball during the first day of Illinois football training camp at Campus Rec Fields in Urbana on Friday, August 2, 2019.Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette Illinois RB Reggie Corbin runs with the ball during the first day of Illinois football training camp at Campus Rec Fields in Urbana on Friday, August 2, 2019.

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Last season, Reggie Corbin rushed for 1,085 yards, so Illini fans are probably expecting that same kind of production from No. 2 in 2019. The native of Upper Marlboro, Md., gained 34 percent of his yards on five long runs (69 yards vs. Maryland, 72 and 77 vs. Minnesota, 73 vs. Rutgers, and 80 vs. Wisconsin), yet still averaged 5.8 yards per carry on his other 123 attempts a year ago.

If Corbin could duplicate his 2018 rushing effort, he would enter an elite group of Illini runners who’ve sparkled in back-to-back seasons. Leading the list is Robert Holcombe who for coaches Lou Tepper and Ron Turner gained 2,534 yards on the ground (1,281 in 1996 and 1,253 in 1997). Holcombe and Jim Grabowski (1964 and ’65) are the only two individuals who’ve gained at least 1,000 yards in consecutive years at Illinois.

Here’s who Corbin will be aiming for among Illini consecutive-season rushing leaders:

1. 2,534 yards: Robert Holcombe (1,281 yards in 1996; 1,253 in 1997)

2. 2,431 yards: Mikel Leshoure (734 yards in 2009; 1,697 in 2010)

3. 2,321 yards: Rashard Mendenhall (640 yards in 2006; 1,681 in 2007)

4. 2,262 yards: Jim Grabowski (1,004 yards in 1964; 1,258 in 1965)

5. 1,959 yards: Antoineo Harris (629 yards in 2001; 1,330 in 2002)

6. 1,919 yards: Thomas Rooks (863 yards in 1983; 1,056 in 1984)

7. 1,862 yards: Howard Griffith (747 yards in 1989; 1,115 in 1990)

8. 1,741 yards: Rich Johnson (768 yards in 1967; 973 in 1968)

9. 1,696 yards: J.C. Caroline (1,256 yards in 1953; 440 in 1954)

10. 1,557 yards: Pierre Thomas (893 yards in 2004; 664 in 2005)

11. 1,514 yards: Josh Ferguson (779 yards in 2013; 735 in 2014)

12. 1,474 yards: Juice Williams (755 yards in 2007; 719 in 2008)

13. 1,469 yards: Red Grange (726 yards in 1923; 743 in 1924)

14. 1,457 yards: Rocky Harvey (774 yards in 1999; 683 in 2000)

15. 1,430 yards: Keith Jones (322 yards in 1987; 1,108 in 1988)

16. 1,402 yards: James Coleman (687 yards in 1976; 715 in 1977)

Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Matt Lackey, wrestling (39)

Monday: Jesse Delgado, wrestling (27)

Tuesday: Emily Hollowell, volleyball (20)

Wednesday: Becky Biehl, golf/basketball

Thursday: Perdita Felicien, track & field

Friday: Jim “Chubby” Phillips, football (64)

Saturday: Tal Brody, basketball (76)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter@B1GLLL. His website is www.SportsLLL.com.