The Daily Illini

Best Illini uniforms: Orange-blue-orange ranks top combination for 2019 football team

Illinois Quarterback Isaiah Williams slips through a defender's tackle during the match against Northwestern on Nov. 30, 2019.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

May 6, 2020

Last week, The Athletic wrote countless articles about uniforms at all levels of sports, so I approached my editor Gabby Hajduk about doing something similar for Illini athletics. Thankfully, she agreed. This week you will see opinion stories, like this one, and stories asking players about how uniforms...

Illini add Prince Green to 2021 class

A promotional photo shows that Prince Green has committed to Illinois.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

May 5, 2020

On Sunday night, three-star 2021 cornerback Prince Green became the second recruit to commit in the 2021 recruiting class. Green, a native of Griffin, Georgia, is the 82-ranked player in the state and is the 1,126 nationally-ranked player in the country, according to 247Sports. Green pledges his co...

Illini add another impactful transfer

Miami's Brian Hightower catches a pass as D.J. Ivey, top, defends in the second quarter of the Hurricanes' spring scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

April 30, 2020

On Tuesday afternoon, Miami wide receiver transfer Brian Hightower announced on Twitter that he is transferring to Illinois for his last two years of eligibility. In his seasons with the Hurricanes, Hightower played in 18 games, had 12 receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown. In high school, Hightower...

Former Illinois defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku Jr. signs as undrafted free agent

Illinois lineman Oluwole Betiku Jr. tackles Akron quarterback Kato Nelson on Aug. 31 at Memorial Stadium. The Illini won the game, 42-3.

By Jackson Janes, Assistant Sports Editor

April 28, 2020

The New York Giants have signed former Illini defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku Jr. as an undrafted free agent. The announcement was made on Tuesday.  https://twitter.com/Giants/status/1255254809072058368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1255254809072058368&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.news-gazette.com%2Fsports%2Fgiants-sign-oluwole-betiku%2Farticle_c063fc2e-899f-11ea-95ae-d762eb82998a.html Betiku joined Illinois in 2019 after spendin...

NFL Draft becomes family event

Defensive lineman Raekwon Davis of Alabama runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 29, 2020.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

April 27, 2020

Every year we see the top picks in the NFL Draft greet NFL Commissioner Gorger Goodell center stage in front of thousands of people. Due to COVID-19, the tradition was stopped for a year, but it gave NFL executives, coaches, draft picks and fans a window into how important family is in football. Form...

Navarro commits to continued success for upcoming football season

Illinois wide receiver Donny Navarro breaks free for a touchdown during the game against Wisconsin on Oct. 19, 2019.

By Brendyn Jones, On-Air Editor

April 26, 2020

Every year, there are multiple videos from college football programs across the country that go viral, because they feature a walk-on player earning a scholarship. A player comes to a program and works so hard they are awarded a full-ride scholarship for their effort and accomplishments; it is an ultim...

Absolute best, worst case scenario for 2020 Illini football season

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters throws a pass during the game against Wisconsin.  The Illini won 24-23.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

April 23, 2020

Illinois has its best roster, on paper, that they have had in the last decade. The Illini return nine starters on offense and eight on defense. The 2019 season was supposed to be the year Illinois started to reap the benefits of hiring Lovie Smith, who was tasked with rebuilding the program. Illinois d...

Hernandez adapts, powers Illini through restrictions

Pictured above is Lou Hernandez, the Illinois football strength and conditioning coach.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

April 21, 2020

In a normal world, the Illinois football team should have been fresh off the short slate of spring practices and the annual Orange and Blue Spring Game. Instead, the Illini, like every other collegiate football program, may not see the field until August or later.  For programs like the Illini, the spring sea...

Illini continue to hit transfer portal

Illinois football helmets line up at the end zone at Memorial Stadium during football spring training on April 13, 2019. The Illini look ahead to their 2020 team, which is promising on paper.

By Alec Busse, Staff Writer

April 17, 2020

A year ago at this time, Lovie Smith and the Illini football program began to emphasize bringing in talented players through the transfer portal. Fast forward a year, and the Illini coaching staff have kept the strategy.  In the last week, the Illini were able to add depth to a pair positions of ne...

Former Illini football player Bobby Mitchell passes away at 84

A tribute commemorating the late Bobby Mitchell

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

April 6, 2020

Former Illinois running back Bobby Mitchell has passed away at the age of 84. His cause of death was not disclosed. Mitchell, who was also on the track team, battled injuries as a player, totaling only 712 total yards of offense in his collegiate career, but what Mitchell did after college was truly...

Illinois struggles to recruit in-state prospects

Illinois Head Football Coach Lovie Smith speaks at the Red Box Bowl Fan Fest in Santa Clara, CA on Dec. 29, 2019.

By Alec Busse, Assistant Video Editor

April 3, 2020

Lovie Smith became the head football coach at Illinois in the spring of 2016. Because of the timing of his hiring, Smith’s first recruiting class came in 2017. In his three full recruiting classes, only 20 players have come from in-state high schools. In the 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes...

Transfer portal helps Illini fill needs

Lovie Smith speaks at the Red Box Bowl Fan Fest at Santa Clara, CA on Dec. 29.

By Alec Busse, Video Editor

March 19, 2020

On Friday, the NCAA restricted on- and off-campus recruiting visits, handcuffing the Illini's football recruiting efforts on the transfer market. Last season, Illinois found lots of success in the transfer portal, including its starting quarterback (Brandon Peters), a pair of starting wide receivers (J...

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