Chatting w/ Cole Rusk

Chatting w/ Cole Rusk

I want to try out some of the bells and whistles within the updated website. We have about a week here where I'm making every article free while sort through login issues for everyone on the new site. So now is the time to put up articles testing all of the new bells and whistles.

(If this is your first time viewing the new site and you have an active subscription, you can log in right now. Just click on the "sign-in" at the top right, enter the email address associated with your account, and you'll be sent an email link that will log you in over here on the new and hopefully-improved IlliniBoard.)

One button I noticed when going through the new "publish articles here" page is the "audio" button. It's supposed to allow me to embed audio here on the page without having to upload it somewhere else and then link it back to the site. I haven't tried it yet, so we're all going to try it together.

This is one of the reasons for the website upgrade, by the way. The biggest change I know I need to make is getting back to some of the "short" stuff I used to do. There's too much longform stuff in the last year and not enough "here's a quick interview with our new tight end." As you've probably seen me write several times in the last six months, I've finally sorted through the things that motivate me to be creative and the things that stress me to the point of shutdown. So with this website upgrade, I'm going to push myself into other areas I've avoided while sorting through all of that.

So here's a seven minute interview I did with tight end Cole Rusk yesterday. He's a transfer from Murray State who has two years of eligibility remaining. He was Murray State's leading receiver last year and then entered the portal after the season. Despite offers from schools like Ole Miss and Texas A&M, he chose to come back home (he's from Rock Island) and play for the school where his dad was a wrestler back in the 1990's.

One note before I (attempt to) play you the interview. Back when Covid hit, I wrote a lot about the current high school juniors and sophomores (for football and basketball) and how everything would be scrambled. The rankings wouldn't be correct, film wouldn't exist, players would remain undiscovered, etc. etc. Rusk is one of those recruits.

As he notes here, he had visits set up for Iowa and Illinois on Saturday the week that Covid shut down the world on Wednesday and Thursday. Recruiting visits didn't start again until June 1, 2021 (15 months of basically zero recruiting visit/camp options) and by June of 2021 he had accepted a scholarship offer to Eastern Michigan and was just arriving on campus. After two years there and one year at Murray State (where he made some FCS All American teams), he arrives in Champaign with a good chance to be the starting tight end after the departure of Tip Reiman.

I'm doing that thing where I talk about what he said in the audio clip before I play you the audio. Let's fix that. This might work or it might not, but if I hit this button right here, does it work?

I think it... worked?

Cole Rusk