When they play that Dixieland favorite “Won’t You Come Home Aaron Bailey?” at University of Illinois football games over the course of the next several weeks, months and years, fans will be cheering after No. 15 has returned home once again—to the end zone.
No. 15 is true freshman Aaron Bailey, a Bolingbrook High School graduate who is not to be confused with the iconic Bill Bailey of Dixieland fame, though Aaron is playing some mighty good tunes for the Illini (3-1). He rushed for 56 yards on six carries and scored one touchdown in a 50-14 rout of Miami (Ohio).
Bailey is listed No. 3 on the Illini depth chart at quarterback—behind starter Nathan Scheelhaase and backup Reilly O’Toole as Illinois prepares for its Big Ten opener Saturday at Nebraska. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (TV: ESPNU).
Even in sparse duty, Bailey is making his home in the end zone. He has scored three touchdowns in his first four college games. It’s almost as if the original Dixieland song’s ending was written for him: “I gotta a story I want to tell.”