Do you remember when Illinois strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher tweeted out basketball updates a few weeks ago? Just based on a few short video clips of players dunking, it was obvious that most of the roster had undergone some pretty drastic transformations.
Well now we've got actual testing results and, man, the physical improvements are staggering. Over the last 10 months, four members of the Fighting Illini have improved their vertical leaps by 4.5 inches or more. Moreover, everyone except Tracy Abrams improved their bench press by at least 40 pounds.
But forget the actual numbers. Just look at the players. Malcolm Hill, D.J. Williams, Jalen Coleman-Lands, and Aaron Jordan don't even look like themselves anymore! Congratulations on an outstanding job, Coach Fletcher.
Warning: the pictures may be just a bit NSFW.
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"Now we need to remind people what a tremendous asset the university is, what a great opportunity the athletic program presents, and hopefully we can bring people back around to that realization that this is the state university, this is our flagship institution and the entire state of Illinois should be very proud of it."
"We had our first defensive team meeting last night," Nickerson said. "The big emphasis was 'hey everyday we go out there we've got to play fast, hard, physical, and we've go to be flying around.'"
It took middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson less than an hour Thursday to demonstrate why he's already got his starting spot wrapped up for the Illini football team.