CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Bret Bielema has been expecting his Illini football team to be fully vaccinated heading into the new season, and the Illini are almost there just over a week away from the opener.

Bielema told the media Thursday about five people in the whole program still need their second shot, and everyone has had their first. Of the five, only one is in their traveling party. Bielema says he did not mandate vaccination, but believes so many players being held out last year was a driving force.

In other news from camp, the Illini are almost done with training camp and into game week prep. They are simulating the gameday experience Friday, Bielema say it will be as real as it gets. There is no hitting in the scrimmage, but players will be dressed, coaches will be in the boxes, and they will go through all the gameday routines.