By no means did Illinois HC Tim Beckman have a successful first year in Champaign. The former Toledo headman led Illinois to a depressing 2-10 campaign in 2012. On top of that, Beckman was winless in Big Ten conference, which was considered to be on a “down year.”
Luckily for Illini supporters, Beckman has made several steps in the right direction. He first completely revamped his 2012 staff which gave the Fighting Illini a brand new offensive system. Also, veteran defensive mind Greg Colby was brought in to coach the defensive line.
Beckman next turned to recruiting and signed a 2013 class with several four star recruits according to rivals.com. The class features four star dual-threat quarterback Aaron Bailey, one of the top prospects in Illinois and the country.
The 2013 lineup brings more depth and experience than Beckham had a season ago. Senior Nathan Scheelhaase will be under center for a fourth consecutive year and looks to build off of his four TD, 1361 yard performance from 2012. The running back unit of Donovonn Young, Josh Ferguson and Dami Ayoola will bring more production for Beckham after totaling 127 yards per game last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Beckman has team leading tackler linebacker Mason Monheim signaling the calls. Monheim showed signs of greatness in his 2012 freshman campaign. The cornerback position is an area of concern after losing several seniors to graduation; incoming freshman Darius Mosely and Dillan Cazley look to step up and fill the voids.
A six win season is definitely doable this season; however, Beckman and Illinois have their work cut out for them. If poor play does continue from the 2012 season, the 48 year old Beckman could very well be applying for new jobs.