The Daily Illini

Former Illini running back Reggie Corbin rushes the ball during a game against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 19, 2019. Corbin signed a deal with the BC Lions in Canada to continue his playing career.

Reggie Corbin looks to jump-start football career in Canada

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor February 22, 2021

Former Illini running back Reggie Corbin possessed speed, quickness and a canning ability to catch a defense off-guard early.  But with his college days over a year past him now, the All-Academic Big...

New Illinois head football coach Bret Bielema receives a personalized jersey from Josh Whitman on Dec. 22. Bielema plans to recruit future players from Illinois to increase chances of team success.

Bielema plans on increased state, transfer portal presence

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor February 15, 2021

The biggest factor that determines whether a budding program is a sleeping giant: a fertile recruiting base.  Illinois basketball has always garnered more respect than its football counterpart over the...

Director of football recruiting Patrick Embleton poses for a professional headshot. Embleton has been on the football team staff for over a decade.

Embleton finds job security in uncertain profession under Bielema

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor February 10, 2021

All he wanted to do was provide for his family.  Already the father of two young children, Patrick Embleton’s wife became pregnant with their third child. Living in a smaller Champaign home, Embleton...

Illinois football head coach Bret Bielema speaks at a press conference on Dec. 21. Bielema welcome the final signees of the 2021 recruiting class on Wednesday

Bielema welcomes in 2021 recruiting class, transfer additions

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer February 4, 2021

Bret Bielema welcomed in the final signees of the 2021 recruiting class on Wednesday, though it was far from normal for the newly hired head coach. Bielema was not the head recruiter for all but two of...

Arkansas Razorbacks running back Chase Hayden dives in to the end zone for a second quarter touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies on Sept. 23, 2017 in the Southwest Classic. Hayden has recently joined the Illinois football team for the 2021 season.

Hayden reconnects with Bielema to finish career

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor February 4, 2021

To Chase Hayden, family is everything. As the son of former Tennessee running back Aaron Hayden, Chase grew up in a football family. When deciding between several Power-Five offers as a high schooler,...

Calvin Hart Jr. poses for  a promotional photo for the Illinois Football team. Hart recently transferred to Illinois from NC State.

Calvin Hart Jr. looks to make immediate impact with Illini

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor February 2, 2021

When Bret Bielema finally got settled in at Illinois — after the initial wave of seniors declaring for the NFL Draft or announcing their return — needs had to be addressed on both sides of the ball....

Football head coach Bret Bielema speaks to the media during his frist press conference since his hiring on Wednesday. Bielema will focus on recruiting players from Illinois and restructuring the team in general.

Commitment, family will help lead Bielema in recruiting

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor January 29, 2021

Head coach Bret Bielema, who is on a tour to rebuild his image after his Arkansas exit, has contacted high school football coaches, former players, college assistants and current players in his attempt...

Recently appointed Associate Head Coach and Outside Linebackers Coach Kevin Kane speaks at a press conference on Tuesday.

Kevin Kane comes to Illinois ready to grow, learn from Bielema

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer January 28, 2021

New Illini coach Kevin Kane was hired by Bret Bielema last week as an associate head coach and outside linebackers coach. However, Kane is coming from Southern Methodist, where he was the defensive coordinator....

Quarterback Brandon Peters looks to pass during the game against Northwestern on Dec. 12 at Ryan Field. Illinois will hope to improve in the offseason under Bret Bielema and his new staff.

Illinois, Bielema look to improve in Way-Too-Early Big Ten rankings

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor January 28, 2021

There are 214 days until the Illini take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Dublin, Ireland. Granted, who knows if COVID-19 will allow the location to remain. Regardless, despite the season kickoff being months...

Bielema builds all-star staff, keeps talented seniors

Bielema builds all-star staff, keeps talented seniors

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer January 25, 2021

Just over a month after being named the new head coach at Illinois, Bret Bielema has finalized his staff for the 2021 football season and has retained multiple key players for an extra year of eligibility.  Bielema...

Roderick Perry tackles the opposing ball carrier during the game against Iowa on Dec. 5.

Perry bets on NFL future with return to Bielema

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor January 21, 2021

Roderick Perry didn’t take the conventional route for furthering an NFL career. Perry, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, went across state lines and attended South Carolina State, an FCS school. After...

Senior defensive end Owen Carney (99) moves to tackle the opposing ball carrier during the game against Minnesota on Nov. 7.

Bielema provides instant credibilty to struggling program

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor January 20, 2021

For a split second, it appeared Lovie Smith had figured it out. The Illini, off two straight road victories, came out and punched Iowa in the mouth. Up 14-0 in the second quarter, the Illini’s Big Ten...

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