Skinny Leshoure and more Illini FB nuggets

Skinny Leshoure and more Illini FB nuggets

Posted by Lindsey on Sun, 08/08/2010 - 15:52
Hello Illini Community, Illinois’ players and coaches need to check in at Camp Rantoul by 6 p.m. Sunday. Before they kicked off their two-week stint in the small town 15 miles north of Champaign, everyone dressed up for picture day and met with the media. I’m working on a story about the quarterbacks --- a young group that includes true freshmen Chandler Whitmer (Downers Grove South) and Miles Osei (Prospect) -- but here are some other nuggets gleaned from an upbeat, but muggy, afternoon in East Central Illinois: 1) Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino likes to rotate his running backs to keep his best guy fresh to be the man in the fourth quarter. Everyone assumes junior Mikel Leshoure, who averaged 6.8 yards per carry last year, will be that man and he hasn’t done anything to change that perception. He dropped 6-7 pounds since last year (to 228) and checked in with a body-fat percentage of 4.2. That’s just crazy. 2) Sophomore safety Walt Aikens, who recently finished a brief jail sentence for being in possession of a stolen laptop, took part in picture day and also worked out during Illinois’ first three practices. He’ll take part in everything Camp Rantoul has to offer, though the university has yet to rule whether he’ll be allowed to attend school and/or play football. 3) New defensive coordinator Vic Koenning says he has been moving guys around in the secondary trying to find the right guys. He says he has a pretty good first group, but wants to have five safeties and five corners on whom he can rely. Ron Zook said if the Illini started today, then juniors Supo Sanni and Trulon Henry (the older brother of Rejus Benn) would be the starters with Travon Bellamy also in the mix. Henry is viewed as a run-stopper _ and starting offensive tackle Jeff Allen told me he’s the guy on defense to watch (among those the media and the fans don’t know well). 4) Andrew Carter, who moved from the O-Line to tight end during the spring, has moved back into the line. He could be used as a TE in goal-line situations. Former linebacker Russell Ellington will work at tight end once his shoulder heals. 5) Bonus quote from Koenning on the defense as a whole: “Some of our guys have got to learn how to make plays.” 6) True freshman defensive tackle Austin Teitsma, a Glenbard South graduate who was one of the last players in the class to be offered a scholarship, couldn’t stop smiling and being enthusiastic during my interview with him. He’s so happy to be at Illinois and playing in the Big Ten (his other offers were from NIU, ISU, Ball State and Buffalo) that he couldn’t wait to get to Camp Rantoul. “I’m loving it,” Teitsma said. I’ll have to check in with him again in two weeks. I bet he’ll still be smiling, but with bruises all over his body. That’s how it ought to be for a 255-pound true freshman working against the first-team O-Line most of camp. LW
Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our or terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.