Fighting Illini football’s upcoming game against North Carolina is quickly shaping up to be one of their most anticipated of the decade. The athletic department is expecting upwards of 50,000 fans and, luckily, the 6:30pm CT kickoff also makes it a prime opportunity to get some top recruits on campus. While the exact guest list will become more clear throughout the week, Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt has already confirmed that four-star wide receiver Kamryn Babb (MO) will be on hand for an unofficial visit.
According to 247Sports, Babb is the No. 86 overall player and No. 12 receiver in the class-of-2018. The St. Louis native already has scholarships from several major programs, including Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, LSU, Ole Miss, and Arkansas.
Three-star WR Cameron Brown (MO) — one of Babb’s teammates at Christian Brothers College high school — will also be in Champaign. Brown, another 2018 prospect, is rated as the No. 500 overall player in the nation; he has offers from Iowa, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, and Cincinnati.
Heading to Illinois Saturday— Cameron Brown#️⃣8️⃣ (@luh_cam_) September 5, 2016
And don’t forget, this will also be a huge weekend for the basketball program. While the Orange and Blue are busy playing the Tar Heels, John Groce and his assistants will be hosting five-star wing Kris Wilkes for an official visit. So hopefully Illinois will be able to put on a show in front of all their guests this Saturday.
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"It's early in the year, but for us this is a big game," Smith said during his weekly press conference Monday. "I don't know how North Carolina's looking at the game, the way they beat us up last year. But for us it's a big game and a true measuring stick to see where we are."
"I really feel good because we all prepared to play," Vaughn said. "We all did the same amount of work throughout practice and training camp. You saw the payoff. Kendrick [Foster] had great training camp."
There were a few positive things that are mostly independent of competition level you can extract from this one. The field goal from Chase McLaughlin, right down the middle from 48 yards out with plenty room to spare, was a soothing rag of ether over my kicking nerves.
Of the many changes to Grange Grove, the most eye-opening and thirst-quenching is the addition of a beer garden. Previously, the only place alcohol could be purchased at the stadium was in premium seating areas inside.