Zook recruits spark Fighting Illini revival

Originally Published: October 6, 2007
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- For three years, Illinois coach Ron Zook asked his players to believe in him, even after many others had cast him aside as a nice guy who was in over his head as a big-time college football coach.

Like a used car salesman or an eager entrepreneur trying to sell his dream, Zook advertised Illinois as an up-and-coming program, even when history suggested the Illini would never climb out of the Big Ten cellar. Coming into this season, Illinois had lost 30 of 32 games ...

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