CHAMPAIGN - Illinois head coach Tim Beckman confirmed Thursday that kicker Nick Immekus is no longer with the team.
Illinois sports blog ALionEye.com initially reported Immekus absence from the team Wednesday, although there were conflicting reports regarding the circumstances that led to his leaving the program.
Beckman cleared the matter up following Illinois' second spring practice.
"That was Nick Immekus' decision. It was just a decision on him," Beckman said. "He wasn't removed from this football team or anything. He had made the decision that he wanted to go and look for another opportunity. I wish Nick the best."
Immekus hit 4 of 5 field goals with a long of 43 and was 10 for 10 on extra points as a sophomore in 2012. He missed five games with a groin injury. Due to the injury and time off, backup Taylor Zalewski was able to gain experience and enjoyed a successful run as the team's kicker.
Now a sophomore, he finished 4 of 7 on field goals and converted all 12 extra point tries. He kicked a 54-yarder against Purdue, the third-longest made field goal in school history.
He's now the favorite to handle kicking duties in 2013, with redshirt freshman Ryan Frain also in the mix.
"Taylor I think did a great job," Beckman said. "54 percent of his kickoffs were out of the end zone, so that's an outstanding number. He kicked a 54-yard field goal, came in when Nick got injured, so we felt Taylor was progressing, too."