Illinois hired former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit in January to serve as offensive coordinator, and Scheelhaase is excited for the possibilities for his senior season.
“It’s been great working with coach Cubit,” he said. “He’s a guy that, you know his resume speaks for itself. He’s been around the game for a long time. I think that’s something that’s very important for us as players, just to understand that he knows what he’s talking about.”
Bouncing back: Year three has typically been the charm in previous stops for Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, and Gophers running back Donnell Kirkwood hopes that’s the case this season.
“Everybody’s saying the third year is when he goes nuts,” said Kirkwood, who ran for 926 yards on 218 carries with six rushing touchdowns in 2012. “I can see where he’s going because this team has become physically tougher, it’s become mentally tougher. We’re eliminating some of the mental mistakes that hurt us in a lot of big games. And it’s all because of Kill, he’s an excellent coach.”
The 51-year-old Kill was 10-2 in 2003, his third year at Southern Illinois, and went 10-3 at Northern Illinois in 2010 before accepting the Golden Gophers job. He was 3-9 in his inaugural Minnesota season and 6-7 last year.
Kirkwood enters his third season after starting 13 games as a sophomore and winning outstanding offensive player honors.
“I like where I’m at,” he said. “I’m still learning every day. There are things I’ve worked on in the off season especially to make defenders miss in open spaces ... As long as I become a productive back, that’s all I can ask for.”