Illini Football 2018

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#51
Love getting his players on the field. Program getting some footing, need a couple more years of experience. The depth is improving, see much improved QB play.
 
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#52
Palc is happy to be on the right side again and back at tackle. He's bigger and stronger and he's working his tail off. I think the OL is primed to beat up the right side of the field. Dual threat QB that can keep the ball, hand off to RB or quick slant to WR and they might be able to abuse some D. I think our new OC wants to start simple, create some mismatches and hit em where they aint. I think it's going to be fun this year watching our kids progress. I'm looking forward to watching more of the kids I know nothing about. Does anyone have the scoop on the DL? See you folks there Monday morning.
DL will be the best piece of the team this season IMO. They will be next year as well. We have 7-8 B10 sized players ready to cause havoc. You can easily see why it was okay to move Kendrick Green to OL. LB will be biggest issue again this year.
 
#53
I know it’s only 1 practice, but I liked what I saw from Bush at QB on Saturday. He has athleticism, a good arm and nice size. If the OL can give good pass protection and give the RB’s and the QB running creases, we could have a fun offense this season. I’m sitting on the 4 or 5 win fence for this Fall.
 
#54
Through the first two practices, all reviews of individual players and the team as a whole are more positive than I anticipated. Pleasant early surprises include Bush, Justice Williams the WR, Dominic Stampley, Owen Carney (expected him to be good -- bigger than expected sophomore jump), the jet sweeps in the offense, Kendrick Green the OL, and some unheralded freshmen pushing their way into early reps at camp. Meadors injury hurts, but on the whole the first two days were overwhelmingly positive.

Here is a far too early positional breakdown:

QBs - below average in B1G, Bush and the newfound QB competition give hope to become average
RBs - above average in B1G, mostly based on depth and options for speed/power/receiving
WRs - average in B1G, Smalling + Dudek could elevate the unit
OL - below average in B1G, 1-2 injuries away from really bad
TEs - average in B1G, Dorsey has potential to make this above average

DBs - average in B1G, Williams has potential to make this unit above average
LBs - below average in B1G, 1 injury away from really bad
DL - above average in B1G, based on amazing depth and sophomore jumps for most key players + stud freshmen

Positive growth, a fan base starved for success, and an improved social media presence = more pre-season hype than we "should" have. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to them staying healthy and keeping this positivity going into the season!
 
#55
Through the first two practices, all reviews of individual players and the team as a whole are more positive than I anticipated. Pleasant early surprises include Bush, Justice Williams the WR, Dominic Stampley, Owen Carney (expected him to be good -- bigger than expected sophomore jump), the jet sweeps in the offense, Kendrick Green the OL, and some unheralded freshmen pushing their way into early reps at camp. Meadors injury hurts, but on the whole the first two days were overwhelmingly positive.

Here is a far too early positional breakdown:

QBs - below average in B1G, Bush and the newfound QB competition give hope to become average
RBs - above average in B1G, mostly based on depth and options for speed/power/receiving
WRs - average in B1G, Smalling + Dudek could elevate the unit
OL - below average in B1G, 1-2 injuries away from really bad
TEs - average in B1G, Dorsey has potential to make this above average

DBs - average in B1G, Williams has potential to make this unit above average
LBs - below average in B1G, 1 injury away from really bad
DL - above average in B1G, based on amazing depth and sophomore jumps for most key players + stud freshmen

Positive growth, a fan base starved for success, and an improved social media presence = more pre-season hype than we "should" have. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to them staying healthy and keeping this positivity going into the season!
If Bush can read and react, we could be much better than I have anticipated. Obviously that will remain to be seen for some time, but it is great to hear he looks the part anyway.
 
#56
Through the first two practices, all reviews of individual players and the team as a whole are more positive than I anticipated. Pleasant early surprises include Bush, Justice Williams the WR, Dominic Stampley, Owen Carney (expected him to be good -- bigger than expected sophomore jump), the jet sweeps in the offense, Kendrick Green the OL, and some unheralded freshmen pushing their way into early reps at camp. Meadors injury hurts, but on the whole the first two days were overwhelmingly positive.

Here is a far too early positional breakdown:

QBs - below average in B1G, Bush and the newfound QB competition give hope to become average
RBs - above average in B1G, mostly based on depth and options for speed/power/receiving
WRs - average in B1G, Smalling + Dudek could elevate the unit
OL - below average in B1G, 1-2 injuries away from really bad
TEs - average in B1G, Dorsey has potential to make this above average

DBs - average in B1G, Williams has potential to make this unit above average
LBs - below average in B1G, 1 injury away from really bad
DL - above average in B1G, based on amazing depth and sophomore jumps for most key players + stud freshmen

Positive growth, a fan base starved for success, and an improved social media presence = more pre-season hype than we "should" have. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to them staying healthy and keeping this positivity going into the season!
Interesting analysis. I cant say I'm as optimistic about our talent level relative to the rest of the conference as you though. Athlon doesn't have any of our position groups in the top half. And the only position group Phil Steele has in the top-50 nationally is ST. It looks like you have us around average overall, but I don't see a team that will win 4-5 Big Ten games this year. On the other hand we have a lot of variability, we could lose 10 games or win 8. Talent-wise I think we're a 2-7 or 3-6 Big 10 team though (then we'll take the next step in 2019). Here's my evaluation compared to the rest of the conference

QB - below average. I really like the freshmen, but with none of them being here in the Spring I don't see any of them getting the job this year. Bush is a definite upgrade over what we had. We'll be better than last year. But still he's a 5th year senior who struggled when he was a starter in Juco, so I'm not expecting miracles.
RB - average. Epstein is really good, but you have to worry about injuries. Corbin is solid. There isn't much depth beyond those 2 though.
WR - average. 2 really good ones in Dudek and Smalling, and watch out for Stampley Sandy. Again, depth keeps this from being an above average group, especially since we're going to need 3-5 WRs on the field every snap
TE - average. Dorsey should be all Big 10. Not much else.
OL - way below average. Allegretti is the best player on the team. Kramer is solid. But then, it's a mess. Lowe was graded by PFF as the worst starting OL in the Big 10 last year and Alex P. wasn't much better. They'll improve, but it will probably take another year. The 2nd string would struggle in the MAC.
DE - below average. We return a total of 2 sacks in Big 10 play. Roundtree has the talent, but needs to produce. He had over 400 snaps in Big 10 play and 0 TFL last year. Obviously we're very young here, and probably a year away.
DT - average - Losing Tito hurts, but Milan was the 2nd best player on the defense per PFF and Oliver is solid. Could be an above average group if Avery and Brown break through
LB - below average - Sucks Eifler has to sit out. Phillips is an All-Big 10 talent. Hansen seems to have potential. But there's not much else here. Harding graded out as one of the worst LBs in the Big 10, we need him to improve
CB - below average - Hobbs is a future pro, but this is a very young group
S - above average - Bennett Williams is a legit star. Stanley Green is a good run-stopper but pretty limited. I Think Sydney Brown will make an impact right away.

Overall, I just don't see an average Big 10 team this year. We've got a dozen or so guys who could play anywhere, but we don't have much proven depth, and we're still very young, especially at OL, DE, and CB.

If things break right, we could win 6-7 games. Rutgers, Minnesota, Purdue aren't really much better than us. But I'm predicting 4-5 wins based on our overall roster. Should be a better season than last year though, and 2019 I think we'll break through
 
#58
Given the process we're going through, it's probably better to frame it in a two-factor way, one in terms of the raw talent, one in terms of the age and experience level.

We've got upper level Big Ten talent on the D-Line, but they're very young. Whereas the linebacking corps has a pretty nice age and experience mix, but very little talent.
 
#59
Castle Pines, Colorado
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
 
#60
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
Two things:
1) LoL
2) Where the hell did they get that helmet for the photo-op?
 
#61
Anyone else watch the video of Ricky Smalling doing his interview with Milo Eifler (the transfer LB we are all stoked about) and think DAMN, which is the LB and which is the WR?
 
#62
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
How on Earth do you write this story without asking him what the heck he's referring to? It sounds like he wanted to be heavier, what food is denied them at the dining hall? What "certain dietary options" are not available to him? This is bananas.
 
#63
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
I know its not cool to make fun of people's names, but Mitchell McNutt is kind of funny on it face. :deadhorse:
 
#64
Given the process we're going through, it's probably better to frame it in a two-factor way, one in terms of the raw talent, one in terms of the age and experience level.

We've got upper level Big Ten talent on the D-Line, but they're very young. Whereas the linebacking corps has a pretty nice age and experience mix, but very little talent.
Yeah, that's kind've what I was trying to get at. It's hard to say right now we are an above average Big 10 DL, but by the end of the season we certainly could be. And in 2019, assuming decent development, I'm confident we'll have a top 4/5 DL in the conference.

At DE, I love how we've been prioritizing long, tall, athletic guys in recruiting. These are the types of guys that might take a few years to reach their potential, but that potential is the NFL. With so little production returning and relying on sophomores, it seems like we'll be a work in progress this year though.

At DT, we have 1 all-Big 10 type in Milan and a solid player in Oliver, plus some decent depth. Whether we're a top 4/5 unit in the conference will depend on the impact guys like Avery and Brown have though. The Big 10 also has some really good interior DL in Michigan, MI St, Ohio St, Iowa, and Wisconsin, so being a median unit isn't really much of a slight

I think everyone returns in 2019, so we have a lot to look forward to
 
#65
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
Suffice to say, Mitch has gone full McNutt.
 
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#66
Not sure if this is the right place to insert this, but did anyone else read the N-G piece on Mitch McNutt (preferred walk-on from Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley and N-G Area POY last season) leaving the team last week and his reasons why? Weird. First time I can ever recall someone deciding to leave a school because they didn't believe in the team's nutritionists.

And yet another reason why I am glad that my future does not rest on the decisions of 18-year olds. :rolleyes:

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/...product-mcnutt-departs-illinois-football.html
Really interested in this. Pretty standard to cut out bad fats and bad carbs in high level athlete nutrition, even if you’re trying to gain weight. You just eat larger quantities of healthier food. Wonder what he was expecting.
 
#67
Interesting analysis. I cant say I'm as optimistic about our talent level relative to the rest of the conference as you though. Athlon doesn't have any of our position groups in the top half. And the only position group Phil Steele has in the top-50 nationally is ST. It looks like you have us around average overall, but I don't see a team that will win 4-5 Big Ten games this year. On the other hand we have a lot of variability, we could lose 10 games or win 8. Talent-wise I think we're a 2-7 or 3-6 Big 10 team though (then we'll take the next step in 2019). Here's my evaluation compared to the rest of the conference

QB - below average. I really like the freshmen, but with none of them being here in the Spring I don't see any of them getting the job this year. Bush is a definite upgrade over what we had. We'll be better than last year. But still he's a 5th year senior who struggled when he was a starter in Juco, so I'm not expecting miracles.
RB - average. Epstein is really good, but you have to worry about injuries. Corbin is solid. There isn't much depth beyond those 2 though.
WR - average. 2 really good ones in Dudek and Smalling, and watch out for Stampley Sandy. Again, depth keeps this from being an above average group, especially since we're going to need 3-5 WRs on the field every snap
TE - average. Dorsey should be all Big 10. Not much else.
OL - way below average. Allegretti is the best player on the team. Kramer is solid. But then, it's a mess. Lowe was graded by PFF as the worst starting OL in the Big 10 last year and Alex P. wasn't much better. They'll improve, but it will probably take another year. The 2nd string would struggle in the MAC.
DE - below average. We return a total of 2 sacks in Big 10 play. Roundtree has the talent, but needs to produce. He had over 400 snaps in Big 10 play and 0 TFL last year. Obviously we're very young here, and probably a year away.
DT - average - Losing Tito hurts, but Milan was the 2nd best player on the defense per PFF and Oliver is solid. Could be an above average group if Avery and Brown break through
LB - below average - Sucks Eifler has to sit out. Phillips is an All-Big 10 talent. Hansen seems to have potential. But there's not much else here. Harding graded out as one of the worst LBs in the Big 10, we need him to improve
CB - below average - Hobbs is a future pro, but this is a very young group
S - above average - Bennett Williams is a legit star. Stanley Green is a good run-stopper but pretty limited. I Think Sydney Brown will make an impact right away.

Overall, I just don't see an average Big 10 team this year. We've got a dozen or so guys who could play anywhere, but we don't have much proven depth, and we're still very young, especially at OL, DE, and CB.

If things break right, we could win 6-7 games. Rutgers, Minnesota, Purdue aren't really much better than us. But I'm predicting 4-5 wins based on our overall roster. Should be a better season than last year though, and 2019 I think we'll break through

To be honest, our takes aren't all that different. I am slightly more bullish on a few positions, and I might have ranked a few units as "above average," but I also recognize the potentially severe limitations of this team. Notably, I pointed out that we are an injury away from being really bad at two position groups -- OL and LB. I also said that our ceiling is "average" at QB. Given all of those gaps this team could still have a bad record.

The gist of my post is that the team is outperforming expectations early on in camp, with a few surprises sprinkled in. I am latching on to the hope that those developments provide. Health, development, and good coaching could make this season more fun than most of us originally accounted for. Here's to hoping!
 
#68
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
To be honest, our takes aren't all that different. I am slightly more bullish on a few positions, and I might have ranked a few units as "above average," but I also recognize the potentially severe limitations of this team. Notably, I pointed out that we are an injury away from being really bad at two position groups -- OL and LB. I also said that our ceiling is "average" at QB. Given all of those gaps this team could still have a bad record.

The gist of my post is that the team is outperforming expectations early on in camp, with a few surprises sprinkled in. I am latching on to the hope that those developments provide. Health, development, and good coaching could make this season more fun than most of us originally accounted for. Here's to hoping!
Right, we don't have to thread a needle, we just have to have things break the right way. Staying healthy, especially those units that have a big dropoff between the ones and twos is paramount. Approaching competency on O is another key. Am fully expecting growth from our players.
 
#69
Really interested in this. Pretty standard to cut out bad fats and bad carbs in high level athlete nutrition, even if you’re trying to gain weight. You just eat larger quantities of healthier food. Wonder what he was expecting.
Your interest will fade pretty quickly. McNutt played in the same conference I did back in high school. He had full ride offers from SIUC, ISU, etc. Thought highly of himself and decided he could compete at a D1 school. Went through early summer workouts and conditioning then quickly lost interest.

The quotes from him in the paper are simply excuses. And just like his own former high school coach said, "Some kids aren't cut out for college football."

Maybe he'll land somewhere small time. Who knows.
 
#70
Suffice to say, Mitch has gone full McNutt.
Do you know Mitch personally? Or the family? Or anyone who knows him? I do. You're speculating on a poorly written and incomplete article by the News-Gazette and making fun of a kid (and his name) who loves the University of Illinois and its football program. Why don't you just wish him well as he prepares for his next step in life and sports?
 
#71
Do you know Mitch personally? Or the family? Or anyone who knows him? I do. You're speculating on a poorly written and incomplete article by the News-Gazette and making fun of a kid (and his name) who loves the University of Illinois and its football program. Why don't you just wish him well as he prepares for his next step in life and sports?
I really don't understand why you guys are even discussing this kid. He was a WALK-ON from a small town with bad football who would have likely never played a down in an Illini Uniform.
 
#72
I really don't understand why you guys are even discussing this kid. He was a WALK-ON from a small town with bad football who would have likely never played a down in an Illini Uniform.
woah woah woah settle down with the "bad football" comment... gibson city has been top 5 consistently in the past decade in the HOIC which is the best "small school" football conference in the entire state.

but yes he is a walk on so this should just be a shoulder shrug and move on situation
 
#73
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Do you know Mitch personally? Or the family? Or anyone who knows him? I do. You're speculating on a poorly written and incomplete article by the News-Gazette and making fun of a kid (and his name) who loves the University of Illinois and its football program. Why don't you just wish him well as he prepares for his next step in life and sports?
No, no and no.

Yes, I made a flip comment based on an article. McNutt's rationale seems pretty squirrelly. Anyway, if his heart's not in it, absolutely no reason to keep playing. Whatever he does, I wish the young man well.
 
#74
woah woah woah settle down with the "bad football" comment... gibson city has been top 5 consistently in the past decade in the HOIC which is the best "small school" football conference in the entire state.

but yes he is a walk on so this should just be a shoulder shrug and move on situation
Relative to the Chicago-land area, the small school competition in the state of Illinois has been really bad the past 15 or so years - the talent just isn't there
 
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