"Nathan Scheelhaase is expected to be promoted to Illinois' running backs coach, according to a source."
- Thayer Evans, Sports Illustrated
According to Sports Illustrated, Nathan Scheelhaase will be the program's next running backs coach. Scheelhaase, who's currently serving as an assistant director of football operations, was Illinois' starting quarterback from 2010-2013. He's the school's leader in career total offense (10,634 yards) and ranks seventh all-time in that category in the Big Ten.
Evans' article also mentions that Ryan Cubit is expected to be more involved in the offensive play-calling for the Illini.
"He's got the length that the big boys want and he can play multiple positions. He may be a tight end, he may be an offensive tackle, might be a defensive tackle, he may be a defensive end."
- Arnel Monroe, Columbia Missourian
Blessed to say I've officially committed to the university of Illinois! #IlliniNation pic.twitter.com/ydRcigyXnF— Brandon Jones (@brandon_22jones) August 31, 2015
Maybe he was just waiting for Beckman to leave? Hickman High School's Brandon Jones announced his commitment to Illinois via Twitter Sunday night despite the firing of the former head coach this past Friday.
The 6-5, 240 pounder is a hybrid defensive end/tight end that Monroe believes can play at 'multiple positions'. The two-star cited interim head coach Bill Cubit and his son Ryan as major influences in this decision. Ryan, the quarterback coach and recruiting coordinater, attended Hickman High School and thus built a strong relationship with Jones over the past couple months. Welcome aboard Brandon! You're in for a ride.
"When the all-too-soon time comes to name a permanent Illini football coach, Mike Thomas is the most logical person to do it."
- Loren Tate, The News-Gazette
Wait, what? In an article published last night, Loren Tate argues that current athletic director Mike Thomas should be the man to hire the next football coach. His reasons?
- Thomas is the boss (currently, anyway)
- Cubit is a viable long-term candidate
- There's no probable cause to fire (university would shell out $2.2 million over next four years)
Despite the obvious woes in revenue sports like football and basketball, the Illini have fared well as of late with baseball (NCAA Super Regional appearance), men's tennis (Big Ten champions), men's golf (top-five nationally) and volleyball (currently ranked No. 8 nationally). Only time will tell the fate of Mike Thomas -- that is if the Board of Trustees chooses to give him it.
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