Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dulick Shines as Top Target in Illini Attack

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dulick Shines as Top Target in Illini Attack

Article excerpt

Jason Dulick doesn't want to offend any of the three Illinois quarterbacks, but he has a favorite.

Johnny Johnson doesn't want to slight any of the wide receivers. He listed them by name and said, "There's no such thing as a starter at wide receiver. They're all capable."

The defining moment of Saturday's spring football game at Memorial Stadium, however, showed that Johnson-to-Dulick could be something special.

"I was supposed to run a three route" - a 10-yard out, said Dulick, who will be a sophomore next season. "The defense was walling me, so I just took it outside the defense and ran a streak route."

Johnson, a junior-to-be, didn't have to guess where Dulick was going. He knew. The ball was delivered. The catch was made.

"I think we're more comfortable this spring," said Dulick, a St. Louis University product who caught 28 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman.

Last year, Dulick said, he was just trying to learn where he was supposed to be on the field and how to execute the pass routes. Improvising wasn't yet in his personal playbook.

Johnson was battling for the starting job last spring, and trying to get some consistency going. It was way too early for him to start thinking about finding a go-to receiver.

But now, with a year under their belts, Johnson and Dulick are becoming a tandem.

"I can really feel what (the wide receivers) want to do now," Johnson said, trying to be diplomatic. "Dulick is the one I really have a feel for the most, but they're all good."

But don't quarterbacks get connected with a certain wide receiver and look their way more often?

"You mean like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice?" Johnson asked. "Yeah, it's like that. But I'll never say that again."

Actually, Johnson doubles his pleasure when he gets the ball in Dulick's hands. The yardage that Dulick picks up after the catch all goes into Johnson's passing statistics. …

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