Chicago Sun-Times
With Sun-Times sports reporter Herb Gould

On Beckman's watch, Illini football needs watches set

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If Tim Beckman has his way, Illini fans are advised to be in their seats at 10:50 for 11 a.m. kickoffs and 2:20 p.m. for 2:30 kickoffs.

            The new new Illinois coach has instituted ``Illini Time'' as he prepares for his first round of spring practice, which begins today in Champaign.

            To underscore the importance of details, Beckman formed the All-in-One Club, in which players and coaches who qualify receive the preferred meal at quarterly banquets he plans.

            At the first meal, the winners received steak and eggs, and fancy pastry. The non-qualifiers ate porridge.

``It's Illini Time,'' Beckman said Tuesday of his rule that players be 10 minutes early. ``If your class starts at 9 and you weren't there at 8:50, if you were there at 8:52, sorry you're out. It's about being 100 percent involved in doing all you can do.''

Only 21 players and four coaches needed steak knives. The rest were good to go with spoons.

``I'm sure they weren't happy when they were eating their porridge and the other guys were eating home-made cinnamon buns,'' Beckman said, adding that he didn't even make the club. ``I missed a meeting. I was down in Naples, Fla., speaking to the alumni.''

* ALL JOBS OPEN: Incumbent quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will have to re-earn his starting job, Beckman said. So will every other returning starter.

            ``It's an open position,'' he said. ``Every position is open. He'll take the first snap because he's been the starter. But we're going to play whoever's the most consistent. And that's for every position.''

            Look for both Scheelhaase and backup Reilly O'Toole to take their share of snaps in practice and games. Beckman, who played two quarterbacks at Toledo last fall, already is on record as saying he likes a two-quarterback approach.

            * SPRING GAME: Illinois' spring game, which will be called the Blue and Orange game, will be a competitive contest, Beckman said. The new coach plans to divide the team with a draft and hand out a variety of trophies.

            ``We found some trophies, some that hadn't been given out since 1993,'' Beckman said. ``We're going to dust those off and give them out. Bring back some of the tradition of this football program.''

            The spring game is set for 2 p.m on April 14 at Memorial Stadium.

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Its funny how you annointed the starting and backup Q already and write an article about it being an open competition. QB coach calling Miles Osei a blend of both Quarterbacks. We will see how open this competition is..

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This page contains a single entry by Herb Gould published on March 6, 2012 1:59 PM.

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