The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Three Illini football players arrested for armed robbery

Three Illini football players arrested for armed robbery

Tatiania Perry, Assistant sports editor
May 10, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

Three Illinois football players were arrested this morning and are set to be formally charged tomorrow. Darta Lee, 18, Zarrian Holcombe, 19, and Howard Watkins, 18, are in custody with preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery. Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer told The News-Gazette...

Smith’s first season now behind him

Smith’s first season now behind him

Cole Henke, Staff writer
May 8, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

This Illinois football season will not stand out in the record books. On paper, this season looks like a continuation of the program’s decline. The Illini’s 3-9 record was the worst record since former head coach Tim Beckman’s first season, when the Illini went 2-10. Illinois lost its nine ga...

Smoot drafted, five sign as free agents

Smoot drafted, five sign as free agents

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
May 1, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

When Lovie Smith was hired as Illinois’ head coach in March 2016, he assembled a coaching staff that had the most NFL head and assistant coaching experience in college football. A key pitch made to potential recruits is the staff’s experience and ability to get players drafted. After one year on the job, ...

Jacksonville Jaguars draft former Illini Dawuane Smoot

Jacksonville Jaguars draft former Illini Dawuane Smoot

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
April 29, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will have former Illini on both sides of the ball in 2017. Jacksonville selected former Illinois defensive end Dawuane Smoot in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday. Smoot was the 68th overall pick. A native of Groveport, Ohio, Smoot finished the 2016 campaign...

Top in-state quarterback for class of 2018 commits to Illinois

Top in-state quarterback for class of 2018 commits to Illinois

Gavin Good, Assistant sports editor
April 4, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

Illinois football now has its first commitment for the class of 2018: three-star quarterback Coran Taylor of Peoria. Scout.com ranks Taylor as the No. 1 quarterback in Illinois and No. 29 in the country for the 2018 class, ahead of former target Quincy Patterson — who chose Virginia Tech —...

Backup quarterbacks gain experience in spring ball

Backup quarterbacks gain experience in spring ball

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
March 7, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

Illinois football’s Trenard Davis comes from a family of wide receivers. His older brother Marcus used to catch footballs at Auburn. His cousins include former Illinois wideout Desmond Cain and three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin. So it should make sense when Davis — a speedy 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore — is see...

Underwhelming crowd attends Illini open spring practice

Underwhelming crowd attends Illini open spring practice

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
March 6, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

In 2016, Illinois football’s Big Ten rival Ohio State welcomed 100,189 fans to its spring game, a national spring game attendance record. The Illini are certainly not the Buckeyes.  Almost one year to the date after Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman hired former NFL head coach Lovie Smith, th...

Smith, Illinois football don’t see Unofficial as a distraction

Smith, Illinois football don’t see Unofficial as a distraction

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
March 2, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event, according to NCAA recruiting guidelines. Second year Illinois football head coach Lovie Smith may be fairly new to college recruiting procedures, but he i...

Foster’s work honored in National Football Foundation’s Mental Toughness Award

Foster’s work honored in National Football Foundation’s Mental Toughness Award

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
February 27, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

The most nerve-wracking part of Kendrick Foster finding out he had won the National Football Foundation’s Mental Toughness Award last month was learning that he would have to make a speech. “I didn’t know too much about (the award), and they said I needed to write a speech,” the Illinois senior...

Illinois football seniors excited to mentor in spring ball

Illinois football seniors excited to mentor in spring ball

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
February 22, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

The second spring practice of 2017 for Illinois football began outside in Memorial Stadium but moved into the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility due to cold temperatures. As coaches began fulfilling media obligations and players funneled out of the building after practice, wide receiver Malik Turner strapped...

Illinois football’s Smith and Chance The Rapper have unlikely bond

Illinois football’s Smith and Chance The Rapper have unlikely bond

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
February 20, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

Illinois head football coach Lovie Smith was raised in Big Sandy, Texas, but he has taken a liking to the state of Illinois after coaching in Chicago and Champaign. “I believe in homegrown, state of Illinois (people),” Smith said. Smith tweeted at Chicago-raised Chance The Rapper after the 23-yea...

Illinois football comfortable early on in spring practice

Illinois football comfortable early on in spring practice

Stephen Cohn, Staff writer
February 16, 2017
Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Top Stories

Sophomore quarterback Jeff George Jr. sat back in the pocket and pump faked to his right. George whipped the ball to freshman wide receiver Carmoni Green, but sophomore linebacker Justice Williams jumped the route, intercepted off the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Defensive back Stanley Green ran to Williams...

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