Tag: WIU Leathernecks

Up for your consideration: A regionally based FCS 'league' featuring Illinois teams

Up for your consideration: A regionally based FCS 'league' featuring Illinois teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it. The world of intercollegiate sports has been thrown upside down with last spring’s activities being cancelled and the uncertainty of this fall looming. At last check, seven of the 13 FCS conferences are still trying to have a fall season. Two of those seven are the... Read more »

No definitive answers as Illinois FCS programs begin fall camps

No definitive answers as Illinois FCS programs begin fall camps
As the calendar flips from July to August and teams open camps, in many ways Illinois’ four FCS programs are no closer to answers than when spring arrived and then turned into summer. The two biggest questions remain: Will there be a season? If so, what does that season look like? As of now, seven of... Read more »

Moving the Chains with … WIU director of strength and conditioning Jon Minnis

Moving the Chains with … WIU director of strength and conditioning Jon Minnis
Jon Minnis has owned his own athletic training business in Iowa, served in the Navy overseas and grew up in a small town in his home state. Now, he’s back in Macomb for the second time. Minnis, who has a master’s degree in kinesiology from WIU, returned in March to take over as the school’s... Read more »
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Questions still abound for college football's fall

Questions still abound for college football's fall
Even with Illinois in Phase 4 of its COVID-19 plan, college football in the state remains as much up in the air as a well-struck punt into swirling winds. So much is still unknown. As July approaches, Division I athletes have been allowed to participate in voluntary activities for roughly a month. According to the... Read more »

Undrafted by the NFL, these free agents tasted plenty of pro success

Undrafted by the NFL, these free agents tasted plenty of pro success
Seven rounds of this year’s NFL Draft passed without James Robinson hearing his name called. Thus, the star Illinois State running back signed as an undrafted free agent with Jacksonville. Teammate Luther Kirk and Western Illinois’ LaCale London also went the free agent route. While the trio and FCS fans may have been disappointed, they... Read more »

The XFL is gone, but could its kickoff live on?

The XFL is gone, but could its kickoff live on?
The XFL didn’t make it through its reboot season, but could its legacy live on in college football? The league officially ceased operations April 10; some would say by falling TV ratings while others would argue it was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. No matter the reason, the XFL may have provided the NCAA with... Read more »
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Despite so many unknowns, WIU's Ratkovich prepares for final season

Despite so many unknowns, WIU's Ratkovich prepares for final season
Clint Ratkovich saw firsthand how fragile football can be last season as virtually all his running back teammates were felled by injuries and mishaps at one point or another. “It’s football, it’s part of the game,” Ratkovich told Prairie State Pigskin in February. “It’s terrible that it happened to some of the guys, that they had to... Read more »

State FCS coaches set sights on summer, beyond as best they can

State FCS coaches set sights on summer, beyond as best they can
Recent months have produced snow on Halloween, temperatures in the 60s on Christmas Day and more snow the week following Easter. Weather is just one aspect of college football that coaches can’t control. Injuries and the often unpredictable bounce of an oblong football are others. Yet, nothing comes remotely close to the unprecedented uncertainty of... Read more »

Spring football certainly in jeopardy for state's FCS programs

Spring football certainly in jeopardy for state's FCS programs
As with all aspects of daily life, the prospects of spring football practice for the four Illinois Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) programs are very much up in the air because of COVID-19. Last Friday, the Missouri Valley Conference announced that all intercollegiate competitions, including MVC championships, have been canceled through the end of the 2019-20 academic year.... Read more »
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National Signing Day II: WIU retools with 23 signees

National Signing Day II: WIU retools with 23 signees
Coming off an injury-riddled disappointing season that produced just one victory, Western Illinois announced 23 additional players on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. “The majority of this class is done, 25 players, 12 guys on offense, 13 on defense. It’s pretty balanced,” WIU head coach Jared Elliott said on goleathernecks.com “We met a lot of really... Read more »