Illini Announce All-Decade Football Team

The University of Illinois announced the eighth and final group of players on the All-Decade Team Thursday, with quarterbacks Kurt Kittner and Juice Williams rounding out the 31-player team. The squad, which honors Illini who played between 2000-10, was compiled by a combination of fan voting and input from Division of Intercollegiate Athletics staff.

Kittner is one of the most prolific passers in Illinois history, holding the schoolrecord for career (70) and single-season (27) touchdowns, and ranking second in career passing yards. A four-year starter, he ranks second in career total offense (8,880 yards) and second in career completions (682). Kittner also ranks eighth in the Big Ten in career passing touchdowns and his 27 TDs in 2001 is tied for seventh in conference records. He broke the UI record for career starts by a quarterback with 39 – which Williams broke in 2009 with 44 starts – and had 14 games with over 250 passing yards, including six with over 300 yards. He was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Awards in 2001 and was a Heisman Trophy candidate that year.

He led the Illini to an out-right Big Ten title in 2001 and the 2002 Sugar Bowl, and to a victory in the 1999 Bowl, and was named an honorable mention All-American byFootball News in 2000. Kittner was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2001 and an honorable mention pick in 1999. He was a fifth-round selection of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2002 NFL Draft and enjoyed a three-year NFL career. He currently serves as the football analyst for the Illini Sports Network radio broadcasts.

Williams led the Illini to the 2008 Rose Bowl and broke the school record for total offense with 10,594 yards, which ranks sixth in Big Ten history. He broke the UI record for career rushing yards by a quarterback with 2,557 and holds the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-best season rushing marks by a QB. Williams also holds the school record for season total offense yardage with 3,892 yards in 2008, and stands third in UI records with 8,037 yards. His 56 career touchdowns stand second behind Kittner, and his 22 TD strikes in 2008 rank third. He ranks eighth in career passing efficiency and his 138.1 efficiency rating in 2008 is third-best in UI history. His 3,173 yards in 2008 rank fifth in school history and he holds the third- and fourth-best single-game yardage figures.

His five TDs against Missouri on Aug. 30, 2008, are tied for second-most in a game in school history, and he broke Kittner’s record for most career starts by a quarterback with 44. Williams led Illinois to the Big Ten passing title in 2008 and to the Big Ten rushing title in 2006 and 2007. He also led the Big Ten in total offense and ranked seventh nationally in total offense in 2008. He ranks sixth on the UI career rushing record list with 2,557 yards and was an honorable mention Freshman All-American byThe Sporting News in 2006. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 and honorable mention laurels in 2007 and 2009.

The Illini open the 2011 season by hosting Arkansas State at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 3. It is the first of five consecutive home games and eight total home games, the most in Memorial Stadium history. Season and single-game tickets are available at

All-Decade Team

Kurt Kittner, QB

Juice Williams, QB

Mikel Leshoure, RB

Rashard Mendenhall, RB

Pierre Thomas, RB/KR

Arrelious Benn, WR

Brandon Lloyd, WR

Walter Young, WR

Michael Hoomanawanui, TE

Jeff Allen, OL

Jon Asamoah, OL

Luke Butkus, OL

David Diehl, OL

Martin O’Donnell, OL

Tony Pashos, OL

Will Davis, DL

Corey Liuget, DL

Brandon Moore, DL

Chris Norwell, DL

Derrick Strong, DL

J Leman, LB

Brit Miller, LB

Jerry Schumacher, LB

Martez Wilson, LB

Alan Ball, DB

Vontae Davis, DB

Kelvin Hayden, DB

Kevin Mitchell, DB

Eugene Wilson, DB

Jason Reda, PK

Steve Weatherford, P

Posted on August 26, 2011, in Illinois Football. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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