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With Lovie Smith, Illinois has that 'Wow, it's really him' factor going for it

With Lovie Smith, Illinois has that 'Wow, it's really him' factor going for it

As Illinois football coach Lovie Smith sells his new program to potential new players, the pitch will contain a distinct NFL theme. 

Smith has been out of the college game for 21 years, so he's spotlighting what he knows best.

“The first step is to get people to take notice and to come and look at what we’re doing,” the former Bears coach said last month, on a day when 40 recruits showed up to watch spring practice.

"Contrary to public opinion about an NFL coach coming to college, I look forward to the challenge of recruiting. We have a lot to sell. Who wouldn’t want a degree from the University of Illinois and have a chance to play...

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