Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet to Chicago Bears: Why this Does/Doesn’t Make Sense

In terms of pure value, the Chicago Bears selecting Notre Dame tight Cole Kmet with the 43rd overall pick in the NFL Draft tonight was a really solid selection. The Lake Barrington, IL native is a blue chip prospect, arguably the best tight end in the draft, having absolutely crushed it at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

This now means that every opening day starter at tight end for Notre Dame, going all the way back to Anthony Fasano in 2005, has been draft. It also means that 11 Fighting Irish tight ends have been drafted in the first two rounds all time. However, if you look at this pick from a needs based standpoint…it’s highly questionable to say the least.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 4-23-20 FINAL EDITION

The NFL Draft, for the first time ever, will be conducted without any centralized physical location. League Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce picks from his home, and teams will make their selections from their headquarters. Basically, it will be the first online only NFL Draft, as everything will be conducted virtually.

Obviously, the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for such measures, but it’s not a totally unprecedented format. After all, day three of the NFL Draft, for the past few years, has had no actual location. Anyone who watches it closely notices all the picks being announced remotely. Now they’re simply doing that for the whole thing.

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Jaguars, Illini Legend Kevin Hardy on NFL Draft Past and Present

NFL Draft week is here, and with it, we conversed with a man who knows it well- Kevin Hardy. The man who was rated the #15 best Jacksonville Jaguars player of all time by the club website, discussed the NFL Draft- how it’s grown, what his experience was like, and what the event will be like this week, as the current pandemic has forced it into a very different format.

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Brian Kelly Conveys Proper Perspective During Pandemic

Today was the first day that Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly met the media since the coronavirus pandemic completely altered life as we know it. Actually, he “virtually” met the media, as he conducted a conference call on Zoom late this afternoon.

It’s good to be Zoom right now, as that’s the place business is getting done at that includes the sports media business. A whole lot of ground was covered on this call, but one must start with what’s most important, and that’s public health and safety. Kelly said that no one within the program has tested positive for COVID-19; fortunately and thankfully.

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Illini Basketball: Five Players Deserving of UI Athletics Hall of Fame

kiwane-garris

The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020 was announced earlier today and it includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports. It’s only the fourth such class in U of I sports history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you still have some names missing.

(And we covered who should be next to get in, from football, in this post). What’s the most glaring omission from Illini basketball (on the men’s side)? Well, we’d argue any of the five below on this list…

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Illini Football: Five Players Deserving of UI Athletics Hall of Fame

jack trudeau illini football

The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020 was announced earlier today and it includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports. It’s only the fourth such class in U of I sports history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you still have some names missing.

(And we covered who should be next to get in, from men’s basketball, in this post). What’s the most glaring omission? Still not a single quarterback in the hall yet. It’s only the single most individual position in all of team sports. Plus the Illini had a dominant run of signal callers in the 1980s.

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New Illini Athletics HOF Class Announced; Still No Quarterbacks

Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke, 1995 Butkus Award winner Kevin Hardy and long-time NBA star Derek Harper headline 15-person Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020. The class, which was announced just minutes ago, includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports and covers athletes from 1901 through 2013.

It’s only the fourth such class in Illini athletics history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you have plenty of snubs to point out. (And we’ll do that in another post shortly). What’s most glaring here? Still not a single quarterback in the hall yet.

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Illini Football Players, Coaches Get Creative in Quarantine Workouts

Exit press conferences and locker room access.

Enter Zoom, Cisco WebEx and teleconferences.

That’s the new normal for sports media amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Exit the weight room and group training.

Enter bench press pressing tires, pulling/pushing motor vehicles and jumping on to garbage cans.

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Lovie Smith Optimistic We’ll Have Football in 2020

Illinois Fighting Illini Coach Lovie Smith is optimistic that there will be a college football season in 2020. Yesterday, while on teleconference with the media, Smith said his “glass is half-full” on the matter.

“Eventually, we’re going to play football,” Smith told a group of reporters by telephone. “In the meantime, we’re going to do what we can do. It’s bigger than football.”

Of course, we have a very long way to go from the current mandate of staying at least six feet from one another at all times to packing stadiums for several hours every Saturday with tens of thousands of people. At the same time, it’s also hard to speculate on August while we’re still in March.

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LB Jake Hansen Could Lead Illini to B1G West Sleeper Status

The Illinois Fighting Illini, coming off a surprising bowl appearance season in 2019, could be a sleeper team in the Big Ten West division this fall. That is of course provided the coronavirus pandemic is cleared up in time to get college football season started in late summer.

As it stands, spring college football practice season has been wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, a topic that Illinois star linebacker Jake Hansen joined the Illini’s media teleconference to discuss on Monday morning.

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Five Quick Ways to Become a Better Football Player

Football is a beloved game because of two reasons- the adrenaline that comes with it is addictive and the excitement that it bestows on its fanatics is unlike anything else in the world. That split second goal that sends chills down your spine cannot be described or recreated by anything else. 

As a player, there is nothing more important than on-field intelligence and good ball control. These two skills are the difference between an amazing football player and one who is mediocre in the field.  But the good news is that just like any other sport, football offers room for improvement.

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Notre Dame Football: 2020 Spring Practice Preview

The Notre Dame football team commences their 2020 spring practice period tomorrow, Thursday, March 5. Afterward, Head Football Coach Brian Kelly will address the media. Here are some FYIs and other things to watch the next six weeks or so.

What’s the general outlook for Notre Dame football next fall? Well, they’re not exactly like a national title favorite by any means, but they’re not long shots either.
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