Report: Beckman To Talk To Middle Tennessee's A.J. Ricker About Offensive Line Job

Gregory Shamus

Ricker coached the offensive line at Western Michigan under Bill Cubit.

On Tuesday Tim Beckman said that he could fill the vacant offensive line coach position on "[Wednesday] if we wanted to" and while the job hasn't been filled yet, it appears there's a clear target in mind.

CoachingSearch.com is reporting that Beckman is going to talk to a candidate very familiar to offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.

Sources tell me Tim Beckman will indeed talk with MTSU tackles / tight ends coach AJ Ricker about the Illinois offensive line job. If Ricker leaves MTSU, I'm told Rick Stockstill already knows his plan, which may include expanding the role of centers / guards coach Geep Wade.

Obviously the sooner the Illini can get an offensive line coach in place the better. During yesterday's first practice it was Cubit and grad assistant Drew Nystrom working with the offensive line, and while that's okay for one practice, having Cubit divide his attention from installing the entire offense isn't good in the long run.

Another benefit of having Ricker replace Bridge would be his familiarity with Bill Cubit and the offense he runs. Ricker coached Western Michigan's offensive line under Cubit in the 2011 and 2012 seasons before Cubit was fired.

I have to think that if the Illini want Ricker they'll be able to get him, as I'm sure Illinois can offer more than Middle Tennessee can when it comes to salary.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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