Thursday, April 17, 2014
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ISU Spring Camp Report: Spring Cold Weather Returns

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[April 17, 2014]  NORMAL After scrimmaging in 70-degree weather Saturday at Hancock Stadium, the Illinois State football team practiced in the coldest weather it has encountered in spring camp as the players had practice on Tuesday, the ninth practice of camp.

Several players came out wearing sleeves, and many of the coaches had to wear heavy coats and stocking caps to keep warm, but the tempo of practice was plenty upbeat, and the physicality and speed was as intense as it has been all camp. The special teams focus of the day was on the punt protection team, with C.J. Laros and Spencer Smith taking turns punting to Anthony Warrum and Lechein Neblett.

The defense set an early tone in the 7-on-7 drill, as Pat Meehan intercepted a Trevor Rea pass four plays in, and 10 plays later, Mike Banks picked off a Blake Winkler pass and returned it for a touchdown. Despite the errant throws, both quarterbacks fared well during the session. Winkler finished 10-for-13, with three completions each to Cameron Meredith and Neblett. Rea completed 10 of his 15 attempts, three of which fell in the hands of Warrum, and Jamal Towns and Joe Farmer caught two passes each.

The passing game continued to shine during the team session, which was highlighted by two 70-yard touchdown completions. The first came off the arm of Winkler, as Neblett caught the ball on a crossing pattern and made a linebacker miss as he jetted down the far side nearly untouched for the score. Later in the session, Rea connected with Warrum on a fly route down the near sideline, and he used his speed to race to the end zone for six more points.

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Running back Marshaun Coprich also got into the act with a couple of strong runs, including one that went for 25 yards, but that was quickly followed with a sack by Teddy Corwin that put an end to the offensive momentum. Nick Aussieker then capped off the drill with a 50-yard field goal, which barely skimmed over the crossbar for three points as the horn blew.

The Redbirds will return to the field Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for their second of three practices this week.

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]

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