Get to know Illinois closer Tyler Jay, who has become a dominant reliever in college baseball. Lightly recruited out of high school, the lefty and Illinois’ top prospect, talks about how his father helped him become the pitcher he is today. The Illini (40-6-1, 16-1), winners of a program-record 21 straight games, moved up one spot to No. 6 in the USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll, released Monday. Illinois swept Ohio State in Columbus this past weekend, marking its fifth consecutive Big Ten sweep. Its only Big Ten defeat came March 29 at Michigan State.
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. Mercilus is the second Big Ten defensive end the Texans have selected
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. Roper, a redshirt freshman, also is
What goes on behind the scenes at the Illinois football program? Tuesday night our crew from The Next Level profiled Lou Hernandez, the Illinois strength and conditioning coach who has helped several Illinois players make an impact in the NFL. Watch the video profile here and check out our entire collection of Big Ten video feature stories inside, including this feature on Wisconsin’s strength and conditioning coach. It’s also been another busy week at BTN, and we’re only halfway to Saturday’s Big Ten football games. Dave Revsine checks in with his weekly Numbers column and he has some delicious figures.