Football

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Michael Thomas III's Journey Navigating Top College Choices and the Illini Connection

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Michael Thomas III's Journey Navigating Top College Choices and the Illini Connection

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

March 9, 2024

The Fighting Illini have found a new spark with the arrival of new football coach Justin Stepp. Emerging talents like wide receiver Michael Thomas III are also making waves, particularly with the recent revelation of his top five college choices.

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The Farrell Files Illinois - In State & Out of State Target Updates

The Farrell Files Illinois - In State & Out of State Target Updates

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

March 8, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at something odd with one 2025 in state target and an out of state prospect who will be visiting Illinois and another Big Ten school.

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Heat Checks and Hail Marys – The Future of College Sports is Brighter than Today

Heat Checks and Hail Marys – The Future of College Sports is Brighter than Today

Mike Cagley, Co-Host of Big Sports Radio and IlliniGuys […]

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The Farrell Files Illinois - New Football Prospects

The Farrell Files Illinois - New Football Prospects

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

March 6, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

I’m this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at a few interesting prospects who have visits set up.

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1st annual Loren Tate Award Winner

1st annual Loren Tate Award Winner

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois wide receiver Isaiah Williams is the […]

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The Farrell Files - Another 4-Star Recruit with Illinois Interest

The Farrell Files - Another 4-Star Recruit with Illinois Interest

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

March 4, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at another 4-star kid the Illini are in the mix for in the 2025 class and break down 2024 DL Eddie Tuerk in four key categories.

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The Farrell Files Illinois - Two Massive Official Visits

The Farrell Files Illinois - Two Massive Official Visits

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

March 1, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at two massive official visits scheduled just when we thought things had slowed down.

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Jer’Zhan Newton Confirms He Played on Broken Foot for Back Half of Illini’s 2023 Season

Jer’Zhan Newton Confirms He Played on Broken Foot for Back Half of Illini’s 2023 Season

Former Illinois defensive lineman Jer’Zhan Newton, who is a projected first round pick in 2024 NFL Draft, confirmed Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine he played last season on a broken foot.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 28, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re watching tape of the final six games of Illinois’ 2023 football season, you’re watching Consensus All-American Jer’Zhan Newton play on a broken bone in his foot.

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Finding His Chee: Canadian OF Cameron Chee-Aloy Making Instant Freshman Impact

Finding His Chee: Canadian OF Cameron Chee-Aloy Making Instant Freshman Impact

Cameron Chee-Aloy has an eight-game hitting streak to start his collegiate baseball career after the Toronto native was one of the most coveted signees in Dan Hartleb’s Illini program in several years.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 28, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — The way anybody can tell the Illinois baseball coaching staff loves Cameron Chee-Aloy is where he was listed on the Illini lineup card. 

By Chee-Aloy’s third collegiate baseball game, the Toronto native was the first name that Illini head coach Dan Hartleb wrote at the top of the lineup and the 18-year veteran head coach doesn’t typically race out to put a true freshman in the leadoff spot.

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Illini Legendary Wrestling Coach Mark Johnson Excited to See Cole Rusk in Orange & Blue

Illini Legendary Wrestling Coach Mark Johnson Excited to See Cole Rusk in Orange & Blue

Former Illini wrestling head coach Mark Johnson recruited Steve Rusk from his home area of the Quad Cities almost 30 years ago and is thrilled Steve’s son is a graduate transfer for Illini football. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 27, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — During his first week after moving into his residence at the University of Illinois, Cole Rusk was told there was a delivery for him on the front stoop at their family home in Rock Island.

Rusk immediately thought this was strange until he was told who the gift came from. 

“My dad told me that the next time I get home there was an Illini shirt waiting for me,” said Cole Rusk, the newest tight end signee for Illinois out of the transfer portal. “And then (my dad) said it was from his coach at Illinois and I was like ‘oh, that’s so awesome’.” 

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The Farrell Files Illinois - 2 Key 2025 Targets & 1 Emerging 2026 Star

The Farrell Files Illinois - 2 Key 2025 Targets & 1 Emerging 2026 Star

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

February 26, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll take a look at two key 2025 targets and a 2026 emerging quickly.

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Pay-For-Play is Legal: Federal Judge Issues Injunction on NCAA Rules Enforcement Regarding NIL Issues

Pay-For-Play is Legal: Federal Judge Issues Injunction on NCAA Rules Enforcement Regarding NIL Issues

A federal judge ruling in Tennessee issuing an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing its regulations on using name, image and likeness payment inducements in recruiting fully opens pay-for-play activities across the nation.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 24, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — During his end-of-season media conference on November 30, Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said he believed the recent news surrounding name, image and likeness issues in college athletics and specifically his sport of college football would “lead to something breaking” involving legislation on the matter.

The third-year Illini football coach likely had no idea he would be this fundamentally correct and philosophically incorrect at the same time. What Bielema, and several other people inside college athletics, was hoping for was federal legislation leading to further restrictions on NIL inducements being used in player acquisition and, therefore, providing a more even platform across the nation. What happened was the opposite after a federal judge issued a ban on the NCAA being able to enforce any rules or regulations regarding NIL inducements in recruiting.

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The Farrell Files - Overall B1G Recruiting and Joe Barna Evaluation

The Farrell Files - Overall B1G Recruiting and Joe Barna Evaluation

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

February 23, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll take a quick look at where the Illini stand overall 2025 Big Ten recruiting, the PANIC factor at positions starting with QB and I’ll look at 2024 DE signee Joe Barna in four key categories.

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The Farrell Files Illinois - Huge Unofficial Visit Coming & Demetrius John Evaluation

The Farrell Files Illinois - Huge Unofficial Visit Coming & Demetrius John Evaluation

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

February 22, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at a huge unofficial visit coming soon and continue the 2024 breakdown with a look at DE Demetrius John in four key categories.

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Illini Recruiting Strategies Changing with the Landscape

Illini Recruiting Strategies Changing with the Landscape

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 21, 2024

The Fighting Illini football program is transforming, adapting to the evolving landscape of college football with the recent addition of West Coast schools to the Big Ten conference. This expansion means that the Illini will need to target higher-profile prospects to remain competitive in the star-studded world of college football recruiting.

Head Coach Bret Bielema has built a reputation for finding and developing talent, molding players into All-Big Ten performers. However, with the shift in the conference dynamics, the emphasis on recruiting top-tier prospects becomes even more critical for the Fighting Illini.

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