Mighty-mites Make Illini Fun to Watch

They are little, too small for big time football on many fronts. Yet the two mighty-mites of the Illini receiving corps could make for some big times the rest of the season. Beginning with the Eastern Illinois game, don't be surprised if 5-7 Will Judson and 5-10 Chris Duvalt are the most exciting Illinois players. They are among two of the top players to watch as we move forward. The others?

Let's start with running back Jason Ford. A bruising 220-pound freshman, Ford could be the explosive big back who ultimately replaces Rashard Mendenhall in the Illinois backfield. Daniel Dufrene and Troy Pollard are explosive, but small. Mikel LeShoure is very big, but not as fash. Ford is the total package.

"Wish we could have played him more in the first game," Ron Zook told me. "He'll play more now."

Receiver Fred Sykes. Didn't include him with the mighty mites, but you will see more of him. Coaches were beyond pleased with his play in the first game.

Miami Thomas. No, he is not a newcomer, but played very well, sore shoulder an all, when he entered the game against Missouri. Don't be surprised to see he, Vontae and Hicks in the game together most of the time from here on in.

Troy Pollard. Maybe not a lot the next two weeks, but he will be a big part of all of this, I assure you.

Josh Brent. Boy was he missed. Good to have him back starting right now.

Corey Liguet. Missouri's style of play and the fact it was his first college game limited him game one. But you will see this athletic 290-pounder throughout the season.

Ian Thomas (and maybe Russell Ellington). They have to get Martez Wilson more blows. He looked tired to me.

So yes, there is plenty to enjoy among players you already knew about. This group only makes it more fun, beginning with Eastern Illinois.

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