August 2009 Archives

Terry Hawthorne, the wide receiver from East St. Louis who was the headliner of Ron Zook's most recent recruiting class, is working out at cornerback. It's an interesting move because the Illini are loaded at wideout and thin at cornerback because of backup Miami Thomas' season-ending knee injury last week.
Hawthorne has not been full-go at training camp due to an off-season broken hand. And while he has the speed to excel in pass coverage, his 6-foot, 175-pound frame wouldn't be your first choice to break up a sweep.
But it's an interesting move because it could get him on the field quicker. Hawthorne easily could move back to receiver down the road. And playing some corner might make more attractive to pro teams way down the road.
* In another camp development, senior Daniel Dufrene, the likely starter at tailback, is recovering after an ankle sprain Tuesday. The seriousness of the injury is not known, but Zook and his staff most likely are going to err on the side of caution at this point. Dufrene is the most accomplished of five contenders at running back. Sophomore Jason Ford, who had a big game against Indiana last year, is the most intriguing. The running-back derby won't start playing out in a serious way until the season gets going.
Illinois is moving its annual United Center basketball game, which is usually played in early December, to Jan. 2 to avoid a conflict with the football team's home finale vs. Fresno State on Dec. 5, Bruce Weber told the Decatur Herald & Review's Mark Tupper. Gonzaga will be the opponent. Time is yet to be determined, but it will be a day game televised by CBS.

About the blogger

Herb Gould started with the Sun-Times in 1977 and has covered several teams, including the Blackhawks. He is a long-time beat reporter covering the Fighting Illini and the Big Ten for the Sun-Times.

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