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Old 12-11-2006, 03:45 AM   #196
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If anyone cares, Illiniboard.com is moving off the Scout.com network.

http://news.illiniboard.com/daily_news/

The original IB is back, baby. I'll still hit up Illinois.scout.com (it will no longer carry the Illiniboard name in a few days, most likely) for recruiting news, though.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:53 AM   #197
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Oh, and wrong sport, but right thread.....

D'Angelo McCray, 5-star defensive lineman from Florida, announces his college decision on Dec. 14th on ESPNU. Illinois or Florida State, unless something unforseen develops between now and Thursday.

It was looking great for us- still might be- but Florida State got the last visit, this past weekend. Bowden always closes well in recruiting.
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGame414
If anyone cares, Illiniboard.com is moving off the Scout.com network.

http://news.illiniboard.com/daily_news/

The original IB is back, baby. I'll still hit up Illinois.scout.com (it will no longer carry the Illiniboard name in a few days, most likely) for recruiting news, though.

I don't like the new setup for the Illini board. Its just harder for me to navigate through. But at least I'm not banned from this board yet.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:09 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaKing
I don't like the new setup for the Illini board. Its just harder for me to navigate through. But at least I'm not banned from this board yet.
give it time.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #200
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About our Football recruits I know you guys probably already know this, but no one has said anything about it. About a month ago, we got the player who many consider the TOP wide reciever in the nation in the class of '07: Arrelious Benn. If we end up getting McCray and Wilson, that would be a historic class for us. I know Marvin Austin is a long shot, but maybe all these other great players coming here will sway him.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:29 PM   #201
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Bob Lichtenfels, the Scout.com recruiting director for football, predicted that Austin would pick Illinois a few days ago. He's about the only one, though; it's looking like USC for Austin, but he's not signing until Signing Day. A lot can happen in seven weeks.

I'd love Austin to come here just for the possibility of them playing Stone Cold Steve Austin's theme song whenever he makes a play. They always play wrestling themes songs with the videos on the jumbotron, like the DX music for our defense's highlight video, and Batista's theme for the video at the beginning of the game. Cracks me up.

It would come as quite a surprise to pretty much everyone if Martez Wilson goes anywhere but Illinois. He and Josh Brent are announcing on Dec. 20th, reportedly, which maybe indicates Brent's coming, too? If you told me a couple weeks ago that Brent would come to Illinois I'd be very surprised.

There's reportedly some really good vibes about Robert Hughes coming to Illinois also. We'll see how it shakes out.
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:10 PM   #202
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How did Illinois get them players? Zook is a terrible coach, so I'm wondering why anyone would want to willingly play for him. Maryland was never really good at keeping great local recruits, but losing them to an Illinois team that has lost 45 games the past 5 years?
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:02 PM   #203
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Zook is not a bad coach. HE is also an excellent recruiter, one of the best in the country and as you can see, We have absolutely raided the DC area for our football team.
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:58 PM   #204
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He's not? How do you take a terrible Illinois team and make them even worse if you're not a bad coach? Why was Florida great before he got there, mediocre while he was there, and great again when he left? If there's not a drastic improvement to Illinois soon, then who's going to want him?
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:53 PM   #205
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Illinois has not gotten worse. That's the only thing you've said that's totally false. The old saying about a rebuilding process is that year one, you lose big, year two, you lose close, and year three you start to win. Our defense was exponentially better, from awful in 2005 to slightly above-average in 2006.

We lost to the No. 1 and No. 7 teams in the country this year by a combined 13 points, and had the ball with a chance to tie or win both games at the end. We went from being blown out almost every week to being in almost every game. The average score of our games in 2005 was 40 to 17; in 2006, it was 26 to 20. We went from 10th in rushing offense to 2nd. From 11th in rushing defense to 5th. From giving up 459 yards a game to 310.

Our pass game didn't get better, because we had a raw true freshman at QB, and receivers who couldn't catch the ball. Another year under Juice's belt, with Arrelious Benn and Jeff Cumberland (who was much better by the end of the year) to throw to, and you can expect that to change significantly.

I'm not going to deny that Zook is any sort of genius. He's made some questionable decisions. However, in college football, the team with the most talent wins. Period. The teams with the best recruiting classes, and send the most players to the NFL, make up 80-90% of the Top 20 every year.

If you have great players and good assistants, you can have a head coach that's barely even aware what's going on, and that's only a slight exaggeration. How involved do you think Bobby Bowden was in X-and-O decision making on a regular basis?

Is Pete Carroll a mastermind? Dude was fired by two NFL teams. Isn't a particularly good tactician on gamedays. But he recruits the best players in the country, is a wonderful motivator, and has great assistants. Mack Brown? Two years before he won the national title, he was supposedly an idiot that needed to get run out of Austin, despite constant Top 10 finishes. Why did they win the national title? Because their "best ever" 2002 recruiting class, starring Vince Young, was all grown up.

Which brings me to my next point.....Zook inherited a bare cupboard- by Florida standards- from Spurrier, whose recruiting had slipped significantly from the early/mid-90's. When, not coincidentally, Ron Zook was a Florida assistant.

So Zook has played a major part in putting together the rosters for two teams that made the national title game.

And the SEC Zook stepped into had turned into a much different league than the one Spurrier coached in. Mark Richt had taken over Georgia and they were now among college football's elite again. LSU was back as a national contender. As an SEC coach whose name escapes me said, "Steve Spurrier made us all get better, because we had to."

I don't think Zook, as a first-time head coach, was ready for that. But he also never had a chance, because of sky-high expectations, immediate unrest toward him from fans because he wasn't Bob Stoops or Mike Shannahan- not to mention that he wasn't Spurrier- and a roster that wasn't filled with the same caliber of players that UF was used to. He coached a team comprised greatly of underclassmen for three years. To go 16-8 in an improved SEC in that time frame is not unimpressive.

Did Florida get so much better because Urban Meyer took over? I don't think so. Maybe a little bit, sure. But he also installed an offense that doesn't work for the quarterback he inherited, and his team often won in spite of it.

Don't buy Meyer's garbage about "we're so young." 18 of Florida's starters were recruited by Ron Zook. What we've seen in Meyer's first two years there wasn't a new coach taking over for a bad one and magically turning them into winners. I do think Meyer is a better pure coach than Zook. But I also think almost any head coach in the country could compete for a national title with the talent Zook brought to Gainsville.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:13 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackass18
How did Illinois get them players? Zook is a terrible coach, so I'm wondering why anyone would want to willingly play for him. Maryland was never really good at keeping great local recruits, but losing them to an Illinois team that has lost 45 games the past 5 years?
So how good of a coach you are is endemic to how good of a recruiter you are? There's plenty of examples in both football AND basketball that suggest otherwise.

Obviously recruits don't feel the same way.

Myself, I think it's hard to say either way, if he's a good or bad coach, with his track record at Florida and Illinois. He took over a Florida program that hadn't been left with the same type of talent they once had, brought in that type of talent once again, and wasn't given a chance to see it through until his guys were upperclassmen. At Illinois, Turner left him absolutely nothing. Exactly four above-average players remained that Turner recruited: J Leman, Derek Walker, Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall. Illinois' record hasn't yet gotten better under Zook but we were infinitely more competitive in 2006 than we have been since 2002.

But that's besides the point. Zook is a tremendous recruiter because he has more energy than anyone you'll ever meet that isn't coked out of their gourd, and is a tireless worker. He can get you excited about playing for a team that has lost twice as many games as the basketball team in the last five years.

And often, recruiting is a domino effect. Juice Williams is the kind of program-changing recruit that gets other guys wanting to come play with him, like Dee Brown in basketball, or Chris Leak at Florida, a few years ago. You get one guy, or a few key guys, interested, and they start talking. And other recruits take notice. Arrelious Benn commits, and other 2007 recruits notice. Martez Wilson hasn't even committed yet, but lots of guys have been saying that he's trying to recruit them to come play at Illinois with him. He's especially tight with Josh Brent and Robert Hughes.

It helps that Locksley knows the D.C. area so well, also. He gets Benn's teammate, Nate Bussey, to commit. That certainly doesn't hurt our chances with Benn. Same with Troy Pollard, an RB from Florida who committed last week. He's high school teammates with D'Angelo McCray; the two supposedly wanted to go to the same school. And the good thing about that is, Bussey and Pollard are very good prospects in their own right. It's not like these were a couple of scrubs we got to convince their stud teammate to come to Champaign.

Zook can point to the close calls against OSU and Wisconsin and tell these kids, "next time, with you guys, we'll beat 'em." And he may be right. That's the final selling point: immediate playing time. He has plenty of it to offer.

Much like Ohio State in basketball, with the Daequan Cook commit starting the domino effect, Illinois football could possibly be looking at the so-called perfect storm for unexpected recruiting success.
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:07 PM   #207
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Love watching Illini football games Juice Williams is my favorite college football player besides Darrell Revis and LaRod Stephens-Howling
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:58 PM   #208
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I'm going to use this time to celebrate the end of my Fall semester of my senior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The last week and a half have been crazy, but no crazier than anyone else on campus and I had it relatively easy.

Senior year is going by so fast and I still have no job and no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

But this I know for sure, I love the Illini and will be attending as many games I can in my semester cause I have no idea when I'll ever be here again...

Ok maybe this is too sentimental, and I'll make one again before I graduate but what a crazy 3.5 years I've had and the best is ahead of me.

Oh, and if anyone is in the Urbana-Champaign area, party at my place tonight--I've got a lot of beer to kill before I head back out east and only 3 days to do so.

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Old 12-12-2006, 05:53 PM   #209
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I wish I was still there. I moved from Urbana to Northern Virginia in August of 03. I'm glad I was there then though because I got to see Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Luther Head, and the whole team at the Assembly Hall while they were still freshmen and sophomores. hah that was also the year that the Bears played in Chamapaign and complained about the lack of quality hotels.

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Old 12-12-2006, 06:29 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlliniFan
I wish I was still there. I moved from Urbana to Northern Virginia in August of 03. I'm glad I was there then though because I got to see Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Luther Head, and the whole team at the Assembly Hall while they were still freshmen and sophomores. hah that was also the year that the Bears played in Chamapaign and complained about the lack of quality hotels.

If you don't mind me asking and this goes for Game too, if you look back at your spring semester of your senior year what would have you done that you didn't get a chance to? And how did you proceed to what many people describe to me as "the rest of your life"? What preparations must be done?

I know they're a bunch of heavy questions, but I'm so confused...Yet I'm not worried, I know things will work out.
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