Illini Football Fall Camp Practice - August 10 Morning Report

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Today marked the first practice following the full-contact scrimmage on Monday so the players were just in helmets, jerseys and shorts today and this was probably a great thing due to the heat index in central Illinois forecasted to rise above 100 before the end of the afternoon.

Illinois officials increased the media viewing period of today's practice session to 25 minutes but the first 10 minutes was watching the players go through stretching so it was essentially 15 minutes of practice action.

Here are some preliminary notes I was able to draw from the 15-minute session:

  • Several Illinois players were in an injury pit near the tunnel entrance where they enter for games including Alex Palczewski, Khalan Tolson and freshman offensive lineman Brody Wisecarver, who is a new member to the list of players limited in their action.
  • I did not see Mike Epstein during the stretching but he could've arrived after the viewing portion of practice.
  • In the early 1-on-1 explosion drills, Illinois offensive line coach Bart Miller tossed Colgate transfer Jack Badovinac a football to use during the drill suggesting he might be in the mix for center if something were to happen to sixth-year senior Doug Kramer.
  • The defensive backs specifically working with Illini position coach Aaron Henry was a mix bag of cornerbacks and safeties: Tony Adams, Kendall Smith, Tailon Leitzsey, Tahveon Nicholson, Mike Manning, Kionte Curry, Devon Witherspoon, Tyler Strain, Jaden Jones- Watkins, DD Snyder II and Daniel Edwards.
  • The defensive line group was limited to just eight players due to the absence of Jamal Woods (who likely may have been in the injury pit on an exercise bike but I couldn't catch the full number) and therefore the depth of the group included Keith Randolph Jr., Jer'Zhan Newton, Sed McConnell and Deon Pate at defensive end along with Roderick Perry II, Calvin Avery, Quinton McCoy and Verdis Brown at defensive tackle.
  • Today was the first day I've seen the tight ends work together with the offensive linemen in the same drills. The 2-on-2 vertical blocking drills started with Vederian Lowe and Daniel Barker followed by Luke Ford and Julian PearlBranden Hohenstein was paired with Zachary Barlev and Griffin Moore was paired with Moses Okpala.
  • Despite the absence of Tolson, the inside linebacker group continues to be filled with depth as Jake Hansen, Calvin Hart Jr., Tarique Barnes, Ryan Meed, Dylan Rosiek, Kenenna Odeluga and Luke Zardzin.

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