INjured during shooting last weekend, Henry's jersey was worn by cornerback Tavon Wilson.
Illinois senior linebacker Trulon Henry didn't play but went through senior day ceremonies Saturday, following a gunshot wound last weekend that damaged his right hand and ended his season.
But he was represented by senior Tavon Wilson, who wore Henry's No. 9 jersey.
"It meant a lot to me that Trulon continued to be out there with us,'' Wilson said following the 28-17 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin Saturday. "I just wanted to do something to make him feel better. His daughter knows us by numbers. She probably thought her dad was out there.''
The 27-year-old Henry, who served nearly five years for robbery before returning to football four years ago, turned his life around, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said, and served as a team leader and model about bouncing back.
"I told him that I was sorrowful,'' Koenning said. "I didn't realize when I was out there getting on him, what we had until he was gone. I didn't realize how much inspiration Trulon was and how big a leader he was for the team.
"Trulon has a great spirit about him. He's matured and grown so much. There are a lot of bad things that happen to good people. They cast stones on him for his past, but that's his past.''
EMOTIONAL SPARK: Emotional offensive coordinator Paul Petrino moved to the sidelines for the game, rather than his usual spot in the press box. Petrino wanted to transfer his emotion into his team, and he planned to return to the sidelines at Minnesota next Saturday.
"Up close and personal, no doubt about that,'' said quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase.
PLAYMAKER: By sacking Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson and forcing a fumble in the second quarter, Illini junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus pushed his totals to 13.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. The single-season school record for sacks is 16 by Simeon Rice in 1994. Mercilus tied the Big Ten's single-season record for forced fumbles.
INJURY REPORT: Freshman running back Donovonn Young rushed for Illinois' two touchdowns before leaving in the fouth quarter with a sprained ankle.
NOTABLE: Illini cornerback Terry Hawthorne finished with a career-high 15 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Brown had 10 tackles and a career-high four tackles for a loss. . .
John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnSupinie.