Entertaining as always boys.
Thank you, thank you.
My guess is that you guys will dominate in football and basketball.
Vegas has even odds on what happens first: an Illinois football bowl win or a Kansas 1st-round basketball victory.
I'll be here all week, folks! Be sure to tip your waitress!
Unfortunately for me, the odds on the White Sox rotation going all the way through with five straight quality starts is 400-1. And even worse, I'd refuse to put even so much as 10 bucks down for those odds.
just wondering how rashad mendenhall is doing? or how you think he's gonna do for illini? he's there rb, he was supposed to be something special... but haven't heard anything of him yet, i've seen him take a couple of snaps in a couple of games but he looked dissapointing. anyone?
Rashard has as much natural ability as any running back Illinois has had in a long time. Definitely in my lifetime, at least (though Ty Douthard, if anyone remembers him...probably not...is one of my biggest personal disappointments as an Illini fan, because I thought he had star written all over him).
He has the size, speed and skills to be an NFL franchise back. That's why he was one of the top 25-50 players in the nation as a HS senior, after all.
Then again, lots of guys have those kinds of abilities never end up amounting to much.
He didn't do much as a freshman, but then again, he played the one and only position on the team that actually had depth with quality players. Pierre Thomas is an absolute stud who would be an All-American if he was on a good team, and E.B. Halsey, though I'm not a fan of the way he runs at all, is a versatile back.
I think Rashard's gonna be a terrific back, but I'm cautiously optimistic. He's still been inconsistent in training camp, according to the coaches, but he was awesome in the scrimmage. As much as I like the way Pierre runs (for those who've never seen Pierre Thomas carry the ball, he's absolutely relentless), Mendenhall is bigger and more of a physical specimen and has an extra gear, that the elite backs have, that Pierre doesn't quite have.
I personally hope Halsey gets phased out of the offense, or at least gets utilized more as a slot receiver/punt returner and little else, because the ball really needs to be in Pierre's hands 20 times a game, and Rashard's hands at least 15 times a game, too. If USC can find a way to get LenDale White and Reggie Bush each the ball often enough, then I'd like to think we can get Pierre and Rashard each the ball often enough. They're as dangerous as any RBs in the Big Ten, and with Millington and Myles at LT and RT now, we should have a good enough O-line for them to do some damage.
I just hope he learns something in his last year playing with Pierre Thomas. If he learns to run with the same ruthlessness, he'll be a superstar. Combined with Juice Williams, Jeff Cumberland, Chris James, and Derrick McPhearson- and, I once again pray, Arrelious Benn and Robert Hughes- the '07 and '08 Illini could be real, real hard to stop from scoring.
It's hard to get over-the-top excited considering how bad we've been since 2001, but Zook is compiling the type of athletes we haven't had in quite some time.