Player News

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Illinois sophomore WR Desmond Cain plans to transfer.

Cain produced a 53-492-1 receiving line as a freshman in 2015, but his sophomore campaign was a disappointment due to a knee issue. Due to that ailment, Cain only logged five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Cain explained he hopes to continue his career closer to his home in Florida.
Dec 2 - 9:41 AM

Illinois redshirt senior QB Wes Lunt has accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.

Injury, including a back injury suffered against Purdue in early October, forced Lunt to miss four games this season. When healthy, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder threw for 1,376 yards (54.7% completions) with an 8/3 TD/INT ratio. He holds a 42/19 TD/INT ratio for his four-year Illini career. The East-West Shrine Game will be played on January 21, 2017.
Nov 29 - 6:59 PM

Illinois junior WR Malik Turner caught 11 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 42-21 loss to Northwestern.

Illinois might have lost their ninth game of the season on Saturday, but that takes nothing away from Turner's superlative effort. The Illini trailed 21-0 early in the second quarter but made multiple pushes to turn it into a game, with Wes Lunt's nine-yard scoring pass to Turner in the third quarter drawing Lovie Smith's crew to within 28-21. The fun would stop there, as Illinois would not score again in the contest. For his part, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Turner wraps up his season having caught 48 passes for 712 yards and six touchdowns.
Nov 26 - 4:45 PM

Illinois redshirt junior RB Kendrick Foster is doubtful to return to Saturday's game against Northwestern due to a leg injury suffered early in the first quarter.

Foster went down without contact after taking a handoff on Illinois' first offensive possession of the game. With the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder looking unlikely to return to action, Reggie Corbin has taken the bulk of rushing work in his absence. Northwestern leads the Illini 21-14 with the second half set to get underway.
Nov 26 - 1:55 PM

Illinois redshirt junior RB Kendrick Foster rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in Saturday's 31-27 win over Michigan State.

In a showdown between 2-6 squads (deep breaths, Sparty nation, deep breaths), Illinois managed to claw out their second Big Ten victory. Foster was instrumental in that effort. The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder's first touchdown came on a 19-yard run with 20 seconds remaining in the first half. His second was considerably longer, as he found pay dirt from 64 yards out early in the third quarter. This was Foster's third 100-yard rushing effort of the 2016 season and represented his most prolific yardage output of the campaign.
Nov 5 - 4:03 PM

Illinois sophomore RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn (leg) is questionable for Saturday's game against Michigan State.

Vaughn was sidelined by a leg injury in last weekend's loss to Minnesota. After rushing for 723 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman, the 5-foot-10, 205-pounder has largely struggled to take a step forward in 2016. Through eight games, he has rushed for just 298 yards and three scores.
Nov 4 - 3:27 PM

Illinoi junior WR Malik Turner (concussion) is questionable for Saturday's game against Michigan State.

Turner sustained a concussion across the middle while catching a pass against Minnesota on Saturday. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder was subsequently placed in the concussion protocol. While Turner has done a respectable job in a tough spot this season (35 catches for 523 yards and four touchdowns in eight games), the Illini offense just doesn't offer enough punch for fantasy value, here, even if Turner is medically cleared to play.
Nov 4 - 3:11 PM

Illinois junior WR Malik Turner has been placed in the concussion protocol.

Turner was knocked out on a grab over the middle in Saturday's loss to Minnesota. He ultimately had to be carted off the field. On his weekly radio show, HC Lovie Smith relayed that the 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior suffered a concussion on the play. In eight games this season, Turner is working to a 35-523-4 receiving line. His status for Illinois' contest against Michigan State remains up in the air, but should receive some clarity as the practice week progresses.
Nov 1 - 1:11 PM

Illinois HC Lovie Smith refuted an ESPN report which deemed him to be "miserable" and a potential one-and-done coach.

Smith served as an experienced option when Illinois hired him in March, but experience or otherwise, the results just haven't been there for the Illini this season. Smith's crew has stumbled out to a 2-6 record, with losses in six of their last seven games. Despite this ugliness, the coach insisted that he isn't throwing in the towel. Said Smith, "My time in Champaign, it's a little bit bigger than where we are right now. Our football team, we're going to win a lot of games eventually, and there's not much more than that." He added, "I would not get into speculation at all" when asked about ESPN's report that he is considering leaving Illinois after the close of the 2016 regular season.
Source: CSN Chicago
Nov 1 - 12:28 PM

Illinois sophomore quarterback Chayce Crouch underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last week.

"Massive blow to us," HC Lovie Smith said at the time. "Chayce was doing some good things, but injuries happen. (He's on the) road to recovery. Rhab has already started for him." Crouch gad replaced starter Wes Lunt (back) in the Purdue game. Since Lunt is hurt too, the Illini have been forced to roll with Jeff George Jr.
Source: Scout.com
Oct 31 - 7:38 PM

Illinois freshman WR Dominic Thieman will miss the remainder of the 2016 season due to a leg injury.

Per HC Lovie Smith, Thieman's leg injury (suffered against Minnesota on Saturday) will require surgery. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound freshman wideout finishes his initial collegiate campaign out having caught six passes for 32 yards. ESPN.com and Scout both graded him as a three-star recruit for the most recent recruiting cycle.
Oct 31 - 2:36 PM

Illinois freshman QB Jeff George Jr. completed 16-of-34 passes for 156 yards a touchdown in Saturday's 41-17 loss to Minnesota.

Wes Lunt (back) wasn't able to give it a go despite warming up, so it was George's show again. He's been pretty brutal in limited action, but George is raw and would be safely stowed away on the bench were Illinois' top two quarterbacks not injured.
Oct 29 - 4:20 PM

Illinois junior WR Malik Turner was carted off the field in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Minnesota.

Turner took a huge shot after catching a pass across the middle. Gophers S Duke McGhee was ejected for targeting on the play. Coming in, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Turner had accounted for 43-percent of the team's passing offense with his 513 receiving yards. That usage is easily tops in the country. The aerial offense of Illinois, which is down to No. 3 QB Jeff George Jr., is in serious trouble.
Source: UI 7 News
Oct 29 - 12:58 PM

Illinois sophomore RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn rushed for just 43 yards on seven carries in Saturday's 41-8 loss to Michigan.

Illinois dropped to 2-5 after this latest defeat. They proved completely and utterly out-classed in all aspects of the game, finishing with 77 yards rushing as a team and just 95 yards passing. Though to be fair on the passing front, they were rolling with third-stringer Jeff George Jr. For his part, Vaughn has failed to truly rev this season after showing promise as a freshman. He has just one game of more than 50 yards rushing in 2016.
Oct 22 - 8:01 PM

Illinois redshirt junior RB Kendrick Foster rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the school's 24-7 win over Rutgers.

Foster added another receiving touchdown. He was really the only Illini on offense to push the school forward toward a win, especially with normal starter Wes Lunt sidelined.
Oct 15 - 4:35 PM


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