CHICAGO (CBS)–Big 10 College Football season is just about a month away, and all the Big 10 teams were represented at the Marriott Michigan Avenue Tuesday for the official Media Day.

Here in Chicago, our focus is of course on the Illini and the Wildcats.

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Big 10 football coaches gather at the Marriott hotel on Michigan Avenue July 24 for Media Day.

Northwestern this year is coming off another Bowl victory in a 10-win season with high expectations, reports CBS 2’s Ryan Baker.

The big question is the health of quarterback Clayton Thorson. He had ACL reconstruction surgery in January.

Thorson reported being “ahead of schedule” in his recovery and said he expects to be able to participate in fall training camp.

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Northwestern’s head football coach Pat Fitzgerald told Baker he expects to play this season, but he doesn’t want to rush him back onto the field.

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald at Big 10 Media Day on July 24, 2018.

Fitzgerald said he wants to preserve Fitzgerald, a potential NFL first-round draft pick, for the season-opener at Purdue on Aug. 30.

As for the Illini, coach Lovie Smith will begin his third year in Champaign, and comes off an 0-9 Big Ten campaign. Smith only has two Big 10 wins in his first two seasons returning to the college football ranks, but he is optimistic to see some improvement after starting 15 freshmen last season.

Illini football coach Lovie Smith meets with a young fan at Big 10 Media Day on July 24, 2018.

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