Welcome to our Countdown to Kickoff series! In this series, we’ll do roster previews as we count down the days until the Illinois Fighting Illini August 30th season opener against Youngstown State.
Next up in the Countdown to Kickoff series is a pair of #6’s running back Josh Ferguson and linebacker Carroll Phillips.
Phillips joined the Orange & Blue this past offseason as a JUCO recruit out of Coiah Lincoln Community College.
In 2013, he played in eight games at Coiah Lincoln and recorded 50 total tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, four sacks, one interception (returned for a touchdown), and one fumble recovery.
There’s a good chance that Phillips could be asked to play a significant role in the defense during his first Illini season.
As an entire unit, improvement is the name of the game when it comes to the Illinois defense in 2014.
Illini Nation would be happy if the defense improved enough to give Wes Lunt and the offense a chance to win more games this season.
Josh Ferguson will be entering his junior season with the Fighting Illini and his second season as the main running back in Bill Cubit’s offensive system.
Last season, he ran for 779 yards and seven touchdowns on 141 carries. He also caught 50 passes for 535 yards and four touchdowns, and he ranked second in the entire FBS in receiving yards per game by a running back with 44.6 yards per game.
Earlier this month, Writing Illini’s own Austin Jabs named Josh Ferguson as a potential offensive breakout performer for the Illini coming into 2014.
With Wes Lunt running the offense, things could open up, and Ferguson could run free for over 1,000 yards this season.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on August 30th.
For more on all the happenings in Illinois Athletics be sure to follow Writing Illini on Facebook, Twitter, and use our Android/iOS app to get updates directly from FanSided. Or you can receive email updates from WritingIllini.com, by completing the following form here.