Welcome to IlliniInquirer.com!
My name is Jeremy Werner. As the new publisher of the Illinois affiliate of Scout.com, I am excited to start a new era in this space. Thanks to Scout's commitment, we have assembled a great team with the aim of bringing you the best, in-depth content on University of Illinois athletics. Our goal is to be your go-to spot for Illini news, analysis and discussion.
Our aim will always be to accurately inform our members on the latest Illini news. You'll see plenty of quick hitters: instant reaction to each game, each press conference and each bit of recruiting news, injury news, etc.
Our aim is to always give our members expert analysis on each game. Former Illini players Sean Harrington (basketball) and Micheal Young (football) will offer their takes on the X's and O's, opponent scouting and player development.
Our aim is to take our members inside the locker room and offer the bigger picture. Our members obviously are all passionate Illini fans and watch the game. We will be storytellers: who these players and coaches are, what their challenges are and how they will impact the Illini program. You'll get features, Q&A's and enterprise stories. as well a balanced, honest and well-researched columns.
Our aim is to be interactive and accessible. We are here to serve our members. Have a question about Illinois? We will answer them on our premium boards. We will also produce mailbags on a consistent basis. Some of the best ideas and topics can come from our members, and we want to encourage their input. We also want this to be a fun environment. We are all passionate and disagreement will occur. But we want this to be a civil and fun venue for all.
Our members are passionate about Illinois athletics. We want to give them the best Illini coverage and interaction available. That starts tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 1.
During the next few weeks, you will get a taste of what we offer. We will give you a look inside the 2015 football team, including a focus on head coach Tim Beckman and a position-by-position breakdown. Basketball expert Derek Piper will highlight more than a dozen Illinois basketball recruiting targets, analyze how they played during the summer circuit and where Illinois stands in their respective recruitments. We will give up-to-the-minute reports from Rantoul (football) and accrue the latest news from Belgium and France (basketball) to get you ready for significant 2015-16 seasons. And we're excited that holdover Ryan Easterling will continue to give great football and basketball recruiting updates as official visit season arrives.
The best is yet to come.
Welcome to IlliniInquirer.com!
Meet our team:
Jeremy Werner, publisher
Jeremy Werner attended the University of Illinois, covered Illinois basketball for the Daily Illini and graduated with a degree in news-editorial journalism. Jeremy has covered Illinois athletics for more than eight years. He worked for The News-Gazette/IlliniHQ.com as a recruiting reporter and served as the Paxton Record sports editor for two years. He then covered Northern Illinois University and high school athletics at the DeKalb (Ill.) Daily Chronicle for six months before jumping into radio, hosting the Tay and J Show on ESPN Radio 93.5 in Champaign since Dec. 2010. For the past four years, he has been a reporter/columnist for OrangeandBlueNews.com. He will continue to report and analyze on Illini athletics.
Derek Piper, lead basketball reporter
Derek Piper is the lead basketball reporter for Illini Inquirer covering Illini hoops and recruiting. He has covered the recruiting scene for more than two years. Derek is a native of Champaign and graduated from the University of Illinois in news-editorial journalism. Derek has become a connected, go-to source for Illini basketball recruiting news.
Ryan Easterling, recruiting reporter
Ryan has spent the last six years covering University of Illinois athletics, including the last five and a half with the scout.com network focusing specifically on football and basketball recruiting. Originally from Decatur, Illinois, he graduated from Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a degree in electrical engineering, and now resides in the Chicago suburbs. Ryan will primarily provide coverage of high school football and basketball recruiting, specifically focusing on game film, interviews, and player evaluations.
Sean Harrington, basketball analyst
The son of longtime Elgin (Ill.) High School coach, Sean Harrington has consumed basketball for three decades. As a player at Illinois, Harrington contributed to four straight NCAA Tournament teams, including back-to-back Big Ten title teams in 2001 and 2002. The sharpshooter averaged 5.7 points per game during his career and shot 42.8 percent from three, starting 21 of 132 career games. After his playing career, Harrington joined the coaching ranks and learned under some bright basketball minds, including the late Rick Majerus at St. Louis, Bill Self at Kansas, Bruce Weber at Illinois and Rob Judson at Northern Illinois. After leaving coaching, Sean turned to broadcasting. He started with Big Ten Network and continues to serve as a color analyst for ESPN. He will provide unique insight from a former player and staff member.
Micheal Young, football analyst
Micheal Young was a four-year starter for Illinois football and a team captain. The St. Louis native also played for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals from 2001-2004. After his playing career, he joined joined the media, serving as a color analyst for Big Ten Network, Charter Communications, Comcast, and Fox Sports Midwest. He currently works for 101 ESPN FM-WXOS as an NFL insider, is a color analyst for the American Sports Network and the MSHSAA State Championships for Fox Sports Midwest and also co-hosts an Illinois football podcast with former Illini Carey Davis on HuddleCasts.com. Young will give football expertise to some X's and O's breakdown.