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Experienced Ian Thomas Ready For Big Year

Ian Thomas (Holly Smith)

An injury-depleted 2009 Fighting Illini defense turned to a relatively untried redshirt sophomore to serve as an anchor at middle linebacker. Ian Thomas ended up leading the team in tackles despite a hurt shoulder and having to care for his mother after a brain aneurism. With that year of experience, Thomas is ready to have a breakout season.

Illinois middle linebacker Martez Wilson saw his season end early last fall due to neck surgery. Ian Thomas replaced him and did an admirable job. They are both healthy and will play side by side in Vic Koenning's defense in 2010. However, Thomas is having to adjust to the new position. "Yeah, it's definitely different. I played middle last year, so the inside responsibility is kind of...

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