‘Physical’ Redbirds aim to return to football post-season

The Illinois State football team poses for its 2018 team picture during its annual media day. (Greg Halbleib/WJBC)

By Greg Halbleib

NORMAL – A considerable number of new Illinois State football players and coaches are finding their chemistry quickly according to their head coach.

Brock Spack introduced the 2018 Redbirds to the media Tuesday afternoon. Spack enters his 10th season leading the football Redbirds, who are hoping to get back into the playoffs after missing the post-season last year for the first time since 2013.

With 12 starters returning under several new members of the coaching staff, Spack said the meshing of all of the new personnel is going well.

“The practice field has been very positive,” Spack said. “The new coaches have done a great job and there’s been great buy-in with the new coaches, so that’s gone very, very well.”

Spack is enthusiastic about the Birds’ running attack.

“That’s probably our more veteran group, our offensive line where we only lose two seniors,” Spack said. “Then (with) our backs, that will probably be the strength of our team.”

Spack said this year’s Redbirds are “very physical.” He added that the team has been very focused on improving.

“It’s been amazing in my opinion,” Spack said. “Since the start of January, they’ve not settled. What I mean by that is that they have held themselves and their teammates at a high, high level.”

Illinois State opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. against St. Xavier. All Redbird games can be heard again this year on AM 1230 WJBC and WJBC.com.

Greg Halbleib can be reached at greg@wjbc.com.

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