5 big questions for the Illinois football spring game

It might only be April, but that means we get to see a glimpse of the Illinois football team during the spring game.
Illinois v Iowa
Illinois v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
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2. Who secures the backup running back job?

The future at the running back position is exciting. Illinois had incumbent starter Reggie Love III depart for Purdue, which is always a painful loss, but that leaves the door wide open for Kaden Feagin.

Feagin had a great first year with the program, rushing for 438 yards and two touchdowns. With his size and strength, he was still able to average 4.6 yards per carry. That number is sure to increase now that he is healthy and has experience. I imagine the fact Feagin was probably going to start in 2024 was one of the reasons Love entered the transfer portal.

I think Illinois is pretty set on who the starter is going to be entering the 2024 campaign. But who is going to snag the backup running back job? Will it be determined in the coming weeks and in the spring game?

The obvious player to look at is Josh McCray. He has talent and really burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. But McCray has dealt with a lot of injuries. He was the third-leading rusher in the running back room last season with 43 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. That is only 3.6 yards per carry, though.

I think there are going to be some running backs who have a say in the backup job. McCray is going to have to fend off Aidan Laughery and, when he enters the program in the summer, Ca’Lil Valentine.

Laughery is the main threat during spring practice and the spring game. He had 16 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown last season. That is a team-leading 5.1 yards per carry. Laughery is a quicker running back who has great moves and can wiggle through small spaces. He is the lightning to Feagin’s thunder.

I am also curious if Jordan Anderson can make any type of noise in the spring. He didn’t get any shine last season due to an ACL tear but is a former three-star running back we have stashed away. This might be a chance for Anderson to show the coaching staff he should get a shot.