Aidan Laughery taking advantage of opportunity in spring ball

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Aidan Laughery is getting a big opportunity this spring and the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley grad is doing his best to take advantage of extra reps. With Kaden Feagin still recovering from a shoulder injury and Jordan Anderson still on the mend from a knee injury, Laughery is getting a lot of first team reps, along with Josh McCray. Entering his third season with the Illini, Laughery is feeling confident and comfortable in his role.

“Obviously it’s been awesome,” Laughery said on Wednesday. “I feel like this spring I’ve really taken advantage more so than I have ever really mentally and kind of processing the game a lot better and understanding why things work the way they work but a lot of that is Coach Ward and the great coaching he’s been doing.”

Back in his second stint coaching at Illinois, Thad Ward is getting his first look at Laughery. The redshirt sophomore played in nine games last season, missing three with an injury. He checked multiple ‘firsts’ off the list, including scoring a touchdown against Florida Atlantic. For the season, Laughery finished with 16 carries for 81 yards. He also had two receptions for 24 yards, all while repping Central Illinois along the way.

“You know I think everybody in this locker room bleeds Orange and Blue,” he said. “The guys who want to be here want to be here and yeah I think it’s special that there are some guys local and they can kinda explain and show these guys the pride that it is to go to the University of Illinois.”

Laughery and the Illini take the field in their annual Spring Game Saturday at 1 p.m. from Memorial Stadium. Admission is free.

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