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Henry's birthday wish: an Illini win

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"It's something to smile at, rather than be nervous or whatever -- a great chance to play in front of a lot of people, even if they're booing you," junior free safety Trulon Henry said about Illinois' upcoming game at Penn State.

Junior free safety Trulon Henry is looking forward to celebrating his 26th birthday Saturday with an Illinois victory at Penn State.

The Illini are 0-6 all-time at Penn State, but they're expecting to come away happy on their seventh trip to Happy Valley.

''It's an opportunity, a golden opportunity,'' said Henry, who had two interceptions against Ohio State on Saturday. ''It's something to smile at, rather than be nervous or whatever -- a great chance to play in front of a lot of people, even if they're booing you.''

Henry, who spent four years in a federal prison for armed robbery, said the Illini won't be intimidated by a homecoming crowd of 107,000 at Beaver Stadium.

They're primed from their rugged training-camp workouts in Rantoul, said the Washington, D.C., native, who played at College of DuPage the last two years.

''I've heard a lot about the crowd and the atmosphere,'' said Henry, the older brother of former Illini receiver Arrelious Benn. ''I don't think it can be any worse than Rantoul, though. That was a mental beatdown. We can play anywhere, to be honest.''

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