Follow along with beat writer Colin Likas — here and on Twitter — throughout the evening as he takes in Illinois football’s 2021 spring game live from Memorial Stadium.
7 p.m. — opening kickoff incoming
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6:25 p.m. — about 40 minutes from kickoff
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6 p.m. — about 1 hour from opening kickoff
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5:30 p.m. — about 1 1/2 hours from opening kickoff
Less than one hour ago, the team released its lineups for the Orange and Blue Spring Game inside Memorial Stadium.
For those not in the business of squinting, here’s a closer look at those lineups:
ORANGE TEAM (NUMBER ONES)
QB: Brandon Peters
RB: Chase Brown, Chase Hayden, Reggie Love III
WR: Khmari Thompson, Carlos Sandy, Brian Hightower, Donny Navarro
TE: Luke Ford, Daniel Barker, Tip Reiman
OL: Julian Pearl, Blake Jeresaty, Doug Kramer, Alex Pihlstrom, Vederian Lowe
DL: Keith Randolph Jr., Calvin Avery, Johnny Newton
OLB: Seth Coleman, Isaiah Gay, Owen Carney Jr.
LB: Calvin Hart Jr., Alec McEachern
DB: Kendall Smith, Quan Martin, Devon Witherspoon
BLUE TEAM (THE WORLD)
QB: Isaiah Williams, Deuce Spann, Coran Taylor, Matt Robinson
RB: Jakari Norwood, Kyron Cumby, Matt Bobak
WR: Caleb Griffin (also PK), Dalevon Campbell, John Bickel, Owen Hickey
TE: Josh Beetham, Michael Marchese, Mike Cerniglia Jr., Preston Engel
OL: Evan Kirts, Josh Plohr, Terry Zapf, Jordyn Slaughter, Brody Wisecarver, Ryan Ingold, Moses Okpala, Thomas Cronin, Phifer Griffin, Blaise Sparks, Brevyn Jones, Kevin Tyler
DL: Tre’Von Riggins, Quinton McCoy, Sed McConnell, Anthony Shipton, Deon Pate
OLB: Ezekiel Holmes, Cooper Davis
LB: Dylan Rosiek, Isaac Darkangelo, Sean Coghlan, Marc Mondesir
DB: Tahveon Nicholson, Prather Hudson, Christian Bobak, Tailon Leitzsey, Ben Schultz, Jaden Jones-Watkins, Marquez Beason
PK: Caleb Griffin, James McCourt
P: Blake Hayes, Hugh Robertson
LS: Reed Reagin, Aidan Hall, Ethan Tabel
WHITE JERSEY (LIMITED)*
RB: Nick Fedanzo, Mike Epstein
WR: Desmond Dan Jr., James Frenchie Jr., Ty Lindemann
TE: Griffin Moore
OL: Alex Palczewski, Josh Gesky
DL: Bryce Barnes, Jamal Woods, Roderick Perry II
LB: Ryan Meed, Jake Hansen, Shammond Cooper, Tarique Barnes, Khalan Tolson
DB: Derrick Smith, Joriell Washington, Dylan Thomas, Sydney Brown
*Quarterbacks also in white jerseys, for non-contact
Perhaps the biggest talking point is sixth-year quarterback Brandon Peters being the Orange Team’s lone quarterback, while redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams plays for the Blue Team.
This will be a good way for Williams to get more true quarterback repetitions, however, while also offering some direct competition between he and Peters.
Great opportunity tonight for guys like Khmari Thompson and Carlos Sandy at receiver, recent scholarship recipient Alec McEachern at linebacker and Tip Reiman at tight end. All four are on the Orange Team despite not receiving significant first-team reps last season.
Other points of interest are Danville product Caleb Griffin being listed at receiver on the Blue Team — though there’s little doubt he’ll also kick tonight — quarterback Josh Beetham being listed as a tight end on the Blue Team and running back Mike Epstein being listed among the white jersey (limited/non-contact) players. Epstein, as far as media members are aware, hasn’t been on campus for the Illini’s spring workouts thus far.