The Illini will run a spread, with Nathan Scheelhaase at quarterback for the third straight year and again splitting time with at least one of his backups.
But offense is where another concern lies for Beckman — depth.
The Illini go into spring football with only two real running backs, sophomores Donovonn Young and Josh Ferguson. Young carried the ball 87 times for 451 yards and six touchdowns as a backup last fall and Ferguson played in three games. But after them are four freshmen recruits.
At receiver, Illinois lost its one bright spot form 2011, A.J. Jenkins. He had 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.
Behind him is a collection of mostly question marks. No one else caught more than 26 balls.
"We don't have enough of them," Beckman said. "I'm again just concerned with depth and the youth."
Illinois opens Sept. 1 against Western Michigan and will play seven homes games.
Beckman isn't ready to set a list of goals for the 2012 season. Illinois players like Brown, though, aren't so cautious.
"Big Ten championship, no reason why we can't go to a BCS bowl game," he said. "We've got the talent. We won the first six games (in 2011)."
Follow David Mercer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DavidMercerAP
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