Wednesday Practice Report

The Fighting Illini are continuing to practice leading up to Saturday's Spring Game. In this report,'s Jacob Thompson looks at Wednesday's practice for Ron Zook and his team.

Much more interesting day of practice today, and a lot less windy. The team worked less on individual position drills, and more on drills involving the entire offensive and defensive units. The last hour of practice moved inside to Memorial Stadium for a situational scrimmage.

  • Bryant Creamer was back running drills, and appeared to be moving fairly well.
  • Kisan Flakes still not throwing, just doing option work.
  • The team ran the Oklahoma drill today, though not as many reps today, because of the scrimmage later in practice. The 2nd team guys took more reps than the 1st team.
    • C Eric Block had a very good drill, besting LB Anthony Thornhill 3 times, and LB J. Leman once.
    • TE Jay Ramshaw had 2 good blocks of linebackers, and his teammates let him know about it.
    • LB Conor Gillen showed good motor beating OL Jonathan Connor twice.
    • DT Chris Norwell swallowed OL Ben Amundsen on one rep, Amundsen didn't have a very good day today.
    • OL Matt Maddox had 2 convincing wins, and OL Martin O'Donnell had a great block of DT Josh Norris.
    • WR Jacob Willis continued his nice spring, made a nice catch in a drill on strike from QB Tim Brasic
  • Working against a depleted secondary, WR Kyle Hudson made a nice reception, then showed off good speed and quickness on a cutback that allowed him to get upfield. Brasic also connected on a good long gain with WR DaJuan Warren
  • WR Derrick McPhaerson was working with the 2nd team most of the scrimmage, and struggled a little bit, dropping 2 passes he should have caught. Jacob Willis took his reps on the first team.
  • RB Pierre Thomas had a monster 80 yard or so run against the 2nd team defense, though what might have been more impressive is that DE Will Davis would have caught him if he'd had another 2-3 yards.
  • DE Remond Willis had a beautiful speed rush, blowing right by OT Charles Myles.
  • CB Will Judson ended the practice breaking up a probable TD pass to Kyle Hudson, and received high fives and helmet knocks from his defensive teammates.
Afterwards, Coach Zook said he was still deciding on the Spring game format, and will make a final decision tomorrow. He wants something that will be entertaining for the fans, but still something that the players can learn from.

Coach Zook is also very impressed with DE Doug Pilcher's progress, and thinks he'll only get better. Working against Akim Millington has been very good for Pilcher, and he's got the potential to be a very good lineman in the Big Ten for the next few years. His weight is up, and should be able to gain more weight and strength.

Will Judson's injured hand was not the reason he was switched to CB...there is a pretty big pile at WR, and the coaching staff is looking to get Judson's speed on the field. Tough kid, but lack of size is certainly a concern.

Practice on Friday will be in shorts.

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