A NEW VOICE INSIDE THE ILLINI NATION

Some guys can't get enough. They don't seem to know when to say when.

For me, guilty as charged.

Which sort of explains why after 25 years as a member of the sports media – as a newspaper sports writer back in the day to currently a host of weekly television and a daily radio show as well as the owner of a production company producing TV and radio broadcasts plus sports publications – the time has come to dip my toe into the water of this sparkling new enterprise.

The internet.

OK, so I'm a little late to the party. But I'm excited to be here. And very excited to join the Scout.com team as a publisher of Insideillini.com, focusing on Illinois football.

My background has been covering sports in North Florida – mostly Florida, Florida State and the Jacksonville Jaguars. A Florida grad, I grew up a Florida fan and have covered the team since my years in college through 1980 and professionally ever since.

My years covering the Gators also led me to this frenetic, mile-a-minute crazed maniac named Ron Zook. We became good friends when he was an assistant at UF in the early 90s and have remained close ever since, including, obviously, during his stint as the Gator head coach this decade.

So when Zook took the Illinois job a few years back, we stayed in touch and I followed the developing story. My production company launched a weekly television show in the fall that previews Illinois games on Comcast Sports Net Chicago. And what Zook didn't tell me about Illinois football, I followed on the internet, both here and on Orange and Blue News.

In fact, although it now is the competition, I can't say enough about my friends at Orange and Blue News. Jeff Johnson, the publisher, is a good man, a good friend and does a terrific job. With a moniker of newillini5, I was welcomed into their message board community from day one.

I shared with Jeff a few weeks ago that I would be assisting in the publishing role with Insideillini.com, Jeff couldn't have been more supportive. The bottom line is the more good information available for Illinois fans, the better.

So it is with that somewhat lengthy backdrop that I am thrilled to join the Scout.com team, to work with Kedric and others to give Illini fans the best football news possible.

We'll do our best to let you know what the players and coaches are thinking, where they stand with recruiting, position moves, and general inside information. I can't wait to get going. With the Illini. And in the cyber world.

And I gotta tell you, I think this Internet thing is going to make it.

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