Running back group a “serious unit” this spring


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The running backs have continued to impress at Illinois spring ball, with position coach Cory Patterson in charge of the unit this season. The Illini coach is the only holdover from Lovie Smith’s staff, but moved from the tight ends to the running backs when Bret Bielema took over.

Patterson inherits a deep room, with returning starter Chase Brown while adding in Arkansas transfer Chase Hayden. Freshman Reggie Love showed flashes of potential during the 2019 season, but also also impressed this spring.

Mike Epstein isn’t on campus this spring, and his status for the fall is still up in the air. Although the standout running back isn’t with the team right now, Patterson says there’s plenty of

“That’s a serious room, those guys push each other, great group. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better situation,” says Patterson. “I think one thing with that, is Coach B’s been a head coach for 12 years, and he’s had 13 thousand-yard running backs. So the pressure’s on me, I can’t be the one that don’t get it right.”

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