Optimism abounds as state FCS programs open spring practice

Optimism abounds as state FCS programs open spring practice
Spring officially began Wednesday afternoon, but the Illinois FCS programs all got an earlier start. Eastern, Southern, Western and Illinois State began spring football practices as part of the process in which all four strive to shake off disappointments from last fall. None of the Illinois teams qualified for the FCS playoffs–marking the first time... Read more »

New EIU staff hits state recruiting trail hard

New EIU staff hits state recruiting trail hard
Newly hired Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing vowed that his staff would not only work the recruiting trail hard but also get players from the state to commit to the Panthers. Officially on the job less than three months, Cushing–the former Northwestern assistant–has done just that. Cushing and his staff have signed 27 players,... Read more »

Spring practice ahead for state's FCS programs

Spring practice ahead for state's FCS programs
With both recruiting signing days in the rearview mirror, the four Illinois FCS programs are now focused on the upcoming spring practices. “I think that you can find a lot of really good players at our level that really probably should be FBS players that are left now because so many people feel like they... Read more »
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Before The Bachelor, Colton Underwood had love for Illinois State

Before The Bachelor, Colton Underwood had love for Illinois State
The following is an excerpt from Illinois State Redbirds Football (published by NIU Press in 2016). It features Colton Underwood, known to most as “The Bachelor” but once upon a time a football player from Washington, Ill. and Illinois State University. His father Scott played football for ISU in the late 1980s. His mother Donna... Read more »

Spack, Redbirds haul in impressive running back trio

Spack, Redbirds haul in impressive running back trio
Call it luck, good fortune or being in the right place at the right time. For head coach Brock Spack, running backs falling into his lap late in the recruitment period at Illinois State means he can now call them Redbirds. The February signing period brought three top-flight running backs to Normal and three other... Read more »

Will the AAF succeed? National media pair weighs in

Will the AAF succeed? National media pair weighs in
This is the second in a two-part series previewing the Alliance of American Football. For the first time since promoter Vince McMahon’s ill-fated XFL 18 years ago, sports fans have a professional football league to alleviate their Super Bowl hangovers. The inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football begins this weekend with the debut... Read more »
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Southern Illinois adds 27 players with latest recruits

Southern Illinois adds 27 players with latest recruits
Fourth-year Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill and his staff have brought in another large recruiting class. SIU announced the signing of 18 players on Wednesday, which combined with the nine who signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in December, gives the Salukis 27 new players. Wednesday’s signees included five junior college... Read more »

Former Illinois FCS standouts preview inaugural AAF season

Former Illinois FCS standouts preview inaugural AAF season
This is the first in a two-part series previewing the Alliance of American Football. While Sunday’s Super Bowl officially ended the NFL season, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) is kicking off its inaugural weekend. But they’ll be doing it without any Illinois FCS players. Four former Illinois FCS players were among the final cuts... Read more »

Leathernecks lasso 16 recruits, including six transfers

Leathernecks lasso 16 recruits, including six transfers
Head coach Jared Elliott’s second Western Illinois recruiting class delivered 16 new players for the Leatherneck program. A year ago, Elliott and his staff had to work quickly in a shorter amount of time when the then 31-year-old Elliott was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach when Charlie Fisher left Macomb to join the... Read more »
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A closer look at Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing

A closer look at Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing
Adam Cushing has gone from being a longtime Wildcat to becoming the leader of Panthers. Cushing, 38, was hired Dec. 10 as the 25th head coach in Eastern Illinois University football history. The Mount Carmel High School and University of Chicago graduate replaced Kim Dameron at the EIU helm. Cushing spent the past 14 seasons... Read more »