Illinois essentially hit the halfway point of training camp by Tuesday afternoon. With 10 practices down and nine to go before game week prep starts Aug. 26 for the season opener against Akron, beat writer SCOTT RICHEY picks four camp MVPs:
Depth isn’t only an issue at cornerback for the Illinois secondary. The Illini are also playing without likely starting safety Sydney Brown. A healthy Adams — no guarantee his first two seasons — is proving to be a difference-maker in camp. The 6-foot, 200-pound safety has multiple interceptions and constantly flies around the field making plays.
The last Illinois running back with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons? Robert Holcombe more than two decades ago. The Illini’s other options at running back might cut into Corbin’s carries during 2019, but the redshirt senior certainly has the potential to top 1,000 yards again. His touches have been limited, but he’s still his same explosive self.
Harding earned his teammates’ respect last season as special teams captain. Now he’s at the heart of the Illinois defense as a starting middle linebacker. If it seems like the senior from Elkton, Md., is involved in every play when he’s on the field, it’s because he probably is. Improved run defense starts on the line, but Harding will be key, too.
Before the start of Illinois football's training camp on Aug. 2 in Champaign, beat writer Scott Richey is counting down the Top 50 most important Illini heading into the 2019 season.
The Michigan transfer hasn’t made perhaps quite the splash AJ Bush Jr. did last year in immediately rising to the top of the quarterback depth chart, but he has emerged as the guy. The big-armed Peters isn’t the same rushing threat as Isaiah Williams or Matt Robinson, but he’s shown an ability to extend plays with his feet. Then make every throw.