At long last, the question that has been keeping adults awake at night and children trembling in their beds across our great nation has been answered: Who will be the Illinois Fighting Illini's offensive line coach for the 2013 season? Turns out the Danny Hope rumors were simply that and the man coming in is Jim Bridge.
"I'm very excited to work with an outstanding coach and man in Tim Beckman," Bridge said in the official release. "Illinois is a great fit for me, personally, and Coach Beckman has assembled an outstanding staff. As a coach, you always look forward to competing in a premier conference like the Big Ten and at one of the nation's great academic institutions such as the University of Illinois. I can't wait to get started with the members of our team and especially our offensive linemen."
Who is Jim Bridge? Bridge was the OL coach at North Carolina State the past two seasons and their tight end coach from 2007-2010. He was responsible for two All-ACC offensive linemen last season (R.J. Mattes and Camden Wentz) on an offense that ranked 18th nationally in passing yards per game. Combine that with the Bill Cubit hire and it's beginning to look like we know which way the offense is going to be headed (also two coaches whose last names are full of bad pun potential).
A quick scan of the recruits Rivals lists him as being the main guy in bringing to NC State shows him to be a fairly solid recruiter with his main states being the Carolinas and Georgia, which is a pretty nice little region to potentially bring into the fold. Not that it's guaranteed or anything, but any ties to states with more talent are always a good thing.
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