Football Training Camp Session One in the Books

<b>CHAMPAIGN, IL</b> — It was a sight for sore eyes as Illini fans saw the return of sixth-year seniors Jon Beutjer and Mike O'Brien today, when the squad officially embarked on the 2004 season with practice No. 1 at Memorial Stadium. For O'Brien, it marked his first time in action since tearing his ACL in week two of the 2003 season. <br><br> Read more in this update from IlliniBoard.com.

CHAMPAIGN, IL — It was a sight for sore eyes as Illini fans saw the return of sixth-year seniors Jon Beutjer and Mike O'Brien today, when the squad officially embarked on the 2004 season with practice No. 1 at Memorial Stadium. For O'Brien, it marked his first time in action since tearing his ACL in week two of the 2003 season. The players were treated to unseasonal weather in their first session with mostly cloudy, 70-degree temperatures on the east practice field. Turner addressed media following the workouts, pleased with his first look at the squad.

"It's great to get back out on the field once again," Turner said. "This was as good a first day as I can remember. There was a very good tempo throughout practice, I saw a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It was a great start, and we need to focus on giving that same effort every day."

NCAA RULES: Fans in attendance at today's practice noticed that the team worked out in only shorts. The NCAA rule states that each player must go through an acclimatization period, which consists of two practices in shorts, followed by two sessions in shells before the pads can be donned. According to that rule, the squad will put on the full gear for the first time at Saturday's 8:40 a.m. practice.

FAN APPRECIATION DAY: The annual Media/Fan Appreciation Day is just three days away on Friday, Aug. 13 at Memorial Stadium. Media will begin the day with a Coach Turner press conference at 4:30 p.m., followed by player interviews. But the fun for fans begins at 6:30 p.m. (6 p.m. for Quarterback Club members), when they have a chance to take pictures, get autographs and throw the football with their favorite Illini players. Admission is free to the general public and parking is available in the North lots of Assembly Hall. Fans can enter the stadium through the horseshoe entrance.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE: The Illini have four more practices at Memorial Stadium before moving to the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill. The team will work out at 3:30 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 11 and Thurs., Aug. 12 and in the morning at 8:40 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 13 and Sat., Aug. 14.


Story courtesy the University of Illinois

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