CHARLESTON (WCIA) — Eastern Illinois football is trying to get back to its winning ways this season with new head coach Chris Wilkerson in charge.

Having receiver Isaiah Hill back for a full season is going to be huge for the young Panther squad. The returning senior missed all of the Spring 2021 season and half of the normal 2021 season with a torn Achilles, but still made the All-OVC Second Team despite only playing five games. An accomplishment that seemed almost impossible at points during the recovery.

“I can’t even tell you how many nights I was in my room like, ‘This is probably it, I’m never going to be able to play football again.’ Just sitting in my room, just thinking, crying, all types of stuff,” Hill said. “I love this game so much, I wanted to do everything I could to get back on the field. Luckily I was able to do that. Definitely might have been some thoughts like, ‘I need to get out of here.’ But this is the place to be. I like that I’m here, and I’m just glad to be here.”

It is just under six weeks until the Panthers start their season at Northern Illinois.