A New Lou: Dorsey back with Illini after learning ‘a lot’


URBANA (WCIA) — Lou Dorsey had one of the best freshman seasons an Illinois tight end has ever had, but he knows he has more to give.

“We need to be more consistent as a whole unit,” Dorsey said. “I think that’s a big key about us, we just need to be more consistent.”

Dorsey is just happy to be back after a spring suspension. Head coach Lovie Smith wouldn’t go into detail as to the reason, only saying it was a personal issue. Dorsey spent the time clearing his head, and working out, while the team went through spring practices.

“I learned a lot,” he said. “I missed being out here with my team. It’s been fun being around the guys you love, these are my brothers right here.”

Dorsey came back in the summer with a new mindset and energy. The coaches say the Jacksonville native has done everything they’ve asked since his return.

“I think his mindset has changed,” Illinois offensive coordinator Rod Smith said. “I think Lou has finally bought in. He’s working hard, he’s trying to be a good teammate and he’s doing his part so I’ve been pleased with him so far.”

At 6-foot-6, Dorsey has tools that few tight ends do, something new tight ends coach Cory Patterson is trying to take advantage of.

“He’s just a guy, he’s going to make plays,” Patterson said. “I think he’s a playmaker. I think that’s the biggest asset that Lou has, is he’s a playmaker. He’s a guy that will find a way to make it happen.”

It’s still unclear how Rod Smith will utilize Dorsey but coming off his standout freshman season where he led the team in receiving TD’s, it’s safe to say he’ll once again be a focal point.

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