Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.
When a tornado touched down in Harrisburg, Ill., on Feb. 29, it ripped through much of the city and left seven people dead. However, the destruction was deemed too small for federal assistance. Good thing for Harrisburg, the Illinois baseball team has a proud native, Reid Roper, who wanted to lend a helping hand. Roper, with the help of his coaches and teammates, delivered 32,000 pounds of food and supplies to Harrisburg and presented a $10,319 check to the mayor during its spring trip to Carbondale in mid-March. Watch the entire touching feature now.