Josh Ferguson, Mason Monheim and Ted Karras will represent Illinois at the 2015 Big Ten media days and kickoff luncheon Thursday, July 30 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.
Instead of every Big Ten team being present on both days in Chicago like in years past, seven teams, including the Illini will be featured July 30, and the other seven the next day. Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin will be featured July 30, while Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers will be featured the following day.
Illinois head coach Tim Beckman will open the two-day event at noon, followed by the other six coaches before players and coaches will be available at the podiums and round tables from 1:45 to 5:15 p.m.
Ferguson, a senior running back, led the Illini's offense in rushing in each of the last two seasons, finishing 2014 with 735 yards and eight touchdowns on 146 attempts. The Joliet Catholic product also hauled in 100 receptions during the last two seasons. He is one of three active FBS players with more than 1,500 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards.
Monheim, a senior linebacker, recorded 111 tackles (43 solo, 68 assists), 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and forced four fumbles last season. It was the first time in his Illini career he surpassed the 100 tackle mark. He'll enter the 2015 season with 294 career tackles, ranking him second among active FBS players.
Karras, a redshirt senior offensive guard, is the seventh member of his family to suit up for a Big Ten team. He sat out the 2014 season after tearing his ACL and MCL in Illinois' 55-14 loss to Ohio State in 2013. He played in nine games in 2013.
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